Saturday, June 29, 2013

June Favorites!

June favorites are here and I have some truly awesome things to share with you this month. If you missed my May Favorites and aren't quite sure what this is all about, my "favorites" posts are a selection of products I have reached for over and over again over the past month, and I usually include a mini review as well. Here goes nothing...


Covergirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in 215 Watermelon Twist

First up is a lip "balm" (I say that in quotations only because it is far more pigmented than most "balms") that I am absolutely in love with. As you can see, it provides a really good coverage, it's a gorgeous bright pink, and let me tell you - it is perfect for summer. These are hydrating and shiny, and I would highly recommend them. You can find these at most drugstores for about $7-8 each, and they come in 14 different shades. 

Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in 008 Candy Pink

If Barbie had a favorite lipstick, I imagine this would be it. I hate to share this because I think this might be a discontinued product line, replaced by the relatively new Revlon Lip Butters, BUT I HAD TO. It is seriously so awesome. It is a sheer pink color that is buildable to a good pink coverage. The nice thing about this product is you don't need a mirror to apply it - it's a good one to keep in the purse for apply-and-go lip color.

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation in Ivory

It's been a while since I've changed up my foundation routine, but after hearing nothing but good things about this foundation from some YouTube "beauty gurus" that I watch, I finally caved and picked it up. What the HECK was I waiting for? This stuff is an instant favorite. The 3-in-1 means this foundation functions as a primer, concealer and foundation. The things I love most about it are that it has full coverage without having to apply a ton of product (total necessity with hot summer weather), it lasts all day long, and the pump bottle applicator rocks. I'm in love. You can find this at most drugstores for around $10.

L'Oreal Clean Definition Telescopic Mascara in Blackest Black

Perhaps you've heard others praise the amazingness of the Telescopic mascara line, and if so - you can add me right in to this group of lovers. I'm not sure if you can still pick up the Clean Definition version of this product (I believe Shocking Extensions is the latest version of this mascara) but you can find it at times at stores like Big Lots. This mascara draws out your lashes, separates them, and makes them look so long and full without looking clumpy. The skinny brush makes it easy to apply in all sections of your eye, whether its the inner corner of your lashes or the long outer corner lashes. A must have mascara, for sure.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in 25 Bad to the Bronze

Helllooooo awesome cream eyeshadows! This line rocks my freaking socks off. I own a handful of these colors, but my favorites from this line include this one, Bad to the Bronze, because it is an easy everyday color. (Mix this with Barely Branded and you're set for the day!) These cream shadows are super pigmented, easy to use, and they really do last alllll day long without creasing. These are a great, and much cheaper, alternative to MAC's paint pots. You can find these at drugstores for around $6.

Physicians Formula Powder Palette Multi-Colored Blush in Blushing Nude

Since I bought this blush earlier in June, I have not been able to put it away. This is a seriously great product. The multi-colored aspect of it allows for easy blending and it adds a very natural looking definition to the cheeks. This is a great product to use when you're doing an all-over natural face look. You can find this product at most drugstores for around $10.

Tarte Pure Maracuja Oil 

When I first heard of this product I was like "put pure oil.... ON MY FACE?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" And then I did my research and found that this oil won't clog your pores, and is actually filled with antioxidants that help soothe blemishes or acne. This is one oil that your face will absorb nicely, so it won't sit on your skin and feel oily and gross. Maracuja oil is also supposed to help with fine lines and wrinkles. I use this nightly, primarily around my eyes to mega-moisturize that area and fight off any future wrinkles and fine lines. Now and then I use it on my whole face which feels divine. This stuff is kind of pricey (I got it in a gift set, which was basically the price of one of these bottles alone), running about $45. If this is too much for your budget, you can get maracuja oil MUCH cheaper if you buy it without a brand name attached.

Lush Lip Scrub in Mint Julips

Lippies are my weakness, and nothing is worse than putting on lipstick with gross peely dry lips. That problem is solved completely thanks to this awesome product by Lush (a favorite brand of mine). Essentially, this is a sugar scrub for your lips. You take a tiny bit out, scrub it all around, and then lick it off (it's all natural, baby!). It tastes just like you would imagine it would, and it works a freakin' miracle on my lips. You can get Lush's lip scrubs at any Lush store, or online at their website. They run around $9 each. 

What products have you been loving this month? And do you love any of these same products? Let me know in the comments below. :) 

Monday, June 24, 2013

June Birchbox - Wanderlust

It's here, it's here! My June Birchbox is here, and it comes with an updated logo and branding. This month's box is all about wanderlust, or traveling - it includes samples to serve one well on any summer adventure. Let's dive in...

Color Club Nail Polish in Mod in Manhattan | Full-size: $8

This color is part of an exclusive collection created by Birchbox and Color Club called the Wanderlust Collection which was inspired by four of Birchbox's favorite cities. Mod in Manhattan is a milky off-white that appears to have the slightest tint of pink in it. I have to say I'm not the least bit excited about this color. I don't like my nails being all white - to me that looks like pure white-out, and is a bit sophomoric.  I like Color Club polishes a lot, but I'm not sure I'll be wearing this any time soon.

--What I love: The brand - Color Club polishes are a favorite of mine. 

--What I can live without: The color!

Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo | Full-size: $24

My first thought upon seeing this sample was how pleased I was by the size. I mean, when you get shampoo or conditioner samples in the little rip off packages, there's never enough product to truly tell how well you like it. But THIS is a good size! This shampoo has a really fresh natural scent that I love. This product claims to soften and nourish hair, especially dry and frizzy hair. I will definitely take this little sample with me while traveling, but I can guarantee you I wouldn't spend $24 on a full size bottle of this - outrageous. 

--What I love: The branding. I'm in love with this packaging - simple and modern.

--What I can live without: The price of a full-size bottle. 

Oscar de la Renta Perfume in Something Blue | Full-size: $85-115

Marked by a blend of mandarin and linden blossoms, Something Blue by Oscar de la Renta has summer scent written all over it! It seems most of the beauty world hates getting perfume samples, but I'm part of the minority that loves getting them! Unfortunately, this scent reminds me of a perfume from the Gap that I had in middle school. Considering I'm in my mid-20s, I'd like to think my scents have matured a bit since then.  

--What I love: Nothing, really. Boo.

--What I can live without: The aggravating sample packaging - I prefer spray samples, but this is the pop off top container. I can live without the scent, too. 

suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser | Full-size: $32.95

This product from suki is a two-in-one cleanser and exfoliater that lathers and smells like lemons. I like the scent a lot and I'm betting I can get a couple uses out of this sample - awesome! This is a brand I've never heard of before, but I'm looking forward to trying it out. 

--What I love: The scent and the two-in-one awesomeness.

--What I can live without: The price of the full-sized item - crazy talk. 

Davines Love Smoothing Conditioner | Full-size: $27.50

Another product from Davines, but am I missing something? Why in the world did I get a massive shampoo sample but my conditioner sample surely won't be enough to cover even a fourth of my hair?!?! This is one of my biggest pet peeves regarding samples - this little bit of conditioner will never give me an impression of your product, so why would I waste my time? Not sure I'll even bother trying this one out. If it were as big as the shampoo sample, it would be perfect.

What I love: I like that I got both the shampoo and conditioner to try out.

What I can live without: The sample size and packaging - total fail.

Davines Oi/Oil Absolute Beautifying Potion | Full-size: $40

Yet another Davines product - and this one I'm really looking forward to trying. This oil claims to instantly tame frizz and strengthen hair over time. I'm prone to frizzy hair, so I will certainly get some use out of this. Considering how little oil you need to use in one application, I should get a good amount of use from this sample. 

--What I love: I love hair oils, hoping to love this once I try it, too.

--What I can live without: The packaging. A tube would have been much more convenient for multiple uses.


Overall, I expected more from this Birchbox. After the announcement of their rebranding, which came about a week or two before I received this box, I expected they'd kick off their first newly branded box with some stellar products. The variety of brands and the tiny product samples were disappointing, and I'm not so sure it was worth my $10. 

On another related note, I signed up for Ipsy - a subscription service similar to Birchbox, but it appears you get much more value from the $10 a month price point. I'll get my first "glam bag" (as they call it) in July, and I can't wait to share it with you. A battle of the subscription services will have to happen... stay tuned...


** This post contains my referral link. If you click on the link and sign up, I will earn credit towards Birchbox products.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Zoya - Jancyn

Have I got a color for you - not for the faint of heart! This is a true, bold tangerine orange. Meet Zoya's Jancyn.

Orange is my favorite color, so I have no problem sporting this bright summer color with pride. For those of you who don't fancy a bright pop of orange, you might want to stay away. This is two coats of Jancyn, a cream finish polish. I've never had a bad word to say about Zoya, and this is no exception. Pure perfection; this is my ideal polish. 

Jancyn is a very opaque color. One coat got good coverage, but two coats is flawless. This orange is not quite neon, but it reminds me of bright hunting orange. It's loud and in your face. It doesn't have much place in a conservative office setting, if that's something you have to worry about. Luckily, no one said a peep about this color at my office! :) 

This color is the perfect way to ring in the summer weather we're finally getting here in MN! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Influenster - Something Blue VoxBox

Today I've got a really cool post, thanks to a website called Influenster. What is Influenster? Basically, it's a free website that offers you a chance to review products (for free) and share your opinions with others. Or in their own words, it's "a place for culture junkies to come together and share their unique opinions of products and experiences." I couldn't have said it better myself!

I've received 3 or 4 VoxBoxes (as they call them) and I just received one this past weekend called the Something Blue VoxBox for soon-to-be brides, or bridal party members! Lucky for me, I was just asked to be my best friend's maid of honor this past week so this came at the absolute perfect time! The best part is, this was absolutely free to me. Here's what came in it...

To be honest, the one thing that gives me faith about this product is the Allure Beauty stamp of approval on it, otherwise my first impression was that this looks like some Seen on TV scammy toothpaste. Other than that, I was pleased by the size of this sample - it's a good 4 oz. It comes in the flavor Happy Mint, and it smells really good. I haven't used it yet so I can't vouch for any of it's whitening powers, but I will definitely use this once I run out of my current toothpaste. Considering I would never spend $7.99 for a toothpaste (unless it's absolutely amazing), I'm happy to try this out without paying for it.

Q-Tips Precision Tips | Retail: $2.59-$3.35

Who can't use some Q-Tips? I certainly can, and I can definitely use a travel pack or two to tote around with me when I travel. For the sake of this wedding-themed box they suggest using these for touching up eyeliner, precisely applying concealer, and perfecting manicures - but lets be honest, we all know we're going to use them to clean out our ears.

I'm really excited to try these out. I'm a wimp when it comes to wearing heels all day, so I'm curious to know if these provide any relief. I know on my own wedding day I wore my heels as little as possible, and switched to flip flops almost as soon as I said "I do!" The gel in these cushions are designed to absorb shock and prevent feet from sliding forward while helping to avoid "toe scrunch" (whatever that is.) I'll definitely be getting good use out of this product.

Urgent Rx Fast Powders | Retail: $1.39

This is an interesting product that I'm kind of surprised is a "new" concept - however, it's not entirely shocking. This is a powder pain killer that you take without the use of water. The packaging says it's made with Aspirin, caffeine, pain-reliever, and Adjuvant. I'm not really one to take pain killers if I can avoid it, so I most likely won't get any use from this. Also, this isn't a brand I've ever heard of, so I'm even more put off by the idea of trying it out. Interesting concept, but not sure I can see it catching on.

Kiss everEZlashes | Retail: $4.98

This was my favorite product from the box - two packs of falsies! The little insert of product descriptions says these retail for $4.98, however I saw these puppies at Walgreens yesterday for $6.99, so depending on where you get them, they can be rather pricey. The thing I like about these is that they're really natural and wispy, they're not some crazy outlandish design. I think anyone could easily pull these off without looking crazy. I've tried other brands of falsies, but this is the first time I've ever owned any by Kiss.

All in all, I think this was a really fun box to receive and nearly all of the products I'll get use out of. Influenster is worth signing up for if you're a survey junkie, or you like to leave and read reviews about all sorts of products. I happen to be all of the above. :) Let me know if you've signed up or are thinking about it - I'd love to know what you think!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

OPI - DS Reserve

This beauty is from my favorite OPI collection of all time, the Designer Series collection. This gorgeous pink is called DS Reserve, and it's been a long time favorite polish of mine. It's a very feminine looking pink that's jam packed with holographic glitter. This is a great color for those who work in more conservative offices, but it's much more fun than your standard work-appropriate pink. 

The formula is very smooth and thin and goes on easily. I used two coats and topped it off with a coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri top coat, and unfortunately it has chipped on the nail line a little bit within only two days. 

While the Designer Series OPI polishes are a bit pricey compared to other OPIs, they're well worth it. They're absolutely gorgeous in the summer, and you'll be staring at your fingers any time the light hits them! I'd highly recommend them if you don't have any in your collection.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May Favorites!

Now that May is officially over and we've welcomed in June (a chilly and rainy June here in MN so far), I wanted to share with you the products I've been coming back to again and again over the last month. I love reading blogs about people's monthly favorites and watching these videos on Youtube, so I thought I'd give it a go myself! Let's get right to it...

e.l.f. Powder Brush

First up is a brush from Eyes Lips Face, which I think cost me all of $3. While this is technically a powder brush, I use it for blush and it works wonderfully! Of all the blush brushes I have (many more expensive than $3), this is one of my all time favorites. It's super soft but dense enough to really grip blush and apply it evenly and easily. I'd highly recommend it. 

NYX Blush in Peach

I'm pretty sure I grabbed this blush every single day this month - you can tell by the dent I've put in to it. Being as fair skinned as I am, not all peachy blush tones complement my skin, but this is the perfect pinky peach to give my cheeks a healthy glow. I own a couple of these NYX blushes, and the formula is just perfect; they're not too powdery and they blend in nice with the skin. This is a great shade for spring.

NYX Butter Gloss in Merengue 

As many of you know, I've got endless amounts of lip products. I could use a different one every day for days on end, so you know it's high praise when I say I grabbed this over and over again in May. These butter glosses from NYX are one of my favorite lip products ever; they're super soft, moisturizing, they smell amazing and they add the perfect amount of color to the lips. Merengue is a really pretty pink with a hint of purple. This tone works really great with my natural lip color, creating a soft pinkish nude lip. I'm going to do a review on these butter glosses, so keep an eye out for that coming soon!

Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer in Fair

I have tried every concealer you can think of in an attempt to find my holy grail go-to product, and my search has ended here with this concealer by Tarte. I've already purchased a back up because I don't want to be without it for even a day! I use this to conceal blemishes and hyper-pigmentation, and although I haven't used it as an under-eye concealer I can tell it would be really great for dark circles. This is a very hydrating (hence the maracuja oil in the name) natural concealer that has become a staple in my makeup bag this past month.

Wet n Wild Mega Liner Liquid Eyeliner in Black

Another go-to long time favorite that has made it's way back in to my makeup bag is this liquid eyeliner by Wet n Wild. I have used this eyeliner for ages (although I did stray from it to try other things during the larger portion of last year) because the price can't be beat - it's no more than $4 max. I love this eyeliner because it is a very opaque black, and has a flexible brush applicator. It lasts all day, but be warned - it does run or smudge easily if you have watery eyes.

Maybelline Colorsensational High Shine Gloss in Punch of Pink

I hate to show you a limited edition product that I don't believe can be found anymore, but it really was a May favorite so I had to throw it in! Let me say this, it is too bad this is a limited edition product because this gloss rocks. It's a gorgeous true pink that looks really fun on the lips. Even better, it's moisturizing and long lasting. The only thing I don't like is the unnaturally long doefoot applicator, which is much longer than any other I've seen. It makes for an awkward application, but other than that, I give this an A+. 

OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

Believe it or not, I had not used this product ever until this past month. I'd heard good things about it all over the place, so when my Barielle ridge filler base coat started getting low, I picked this up and I'm so glad I did. I can really tell a difference in my nail strength when wearing this, which is awesome as I typically have weak nails that are prone to breaking. It's a bit pricey, but it's definitely worth every penny.

What were your May favorites? 
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