Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Treats - Nestle Crunch Girl Scout Thin Mints & Cinnabon Caramel Crunch

What I'm raving about this week!!
I have been craving sugar and treats. It might mean I'm not getting enough rest. OR, it could just mean that I see it everywhere and just want to eat it. I do like my Sunday treats, which normally means ice cream. But nowadays it seems to be anything that goes well with ice cream. I was pleased to find these treats at Target. Not sure how long they've been out, but they are new for me.
 
Nestle Crunch Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cookies - These little treats are so awesome! They really do taste like Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cookies!! It is a thin mint, only shaped like a mini candy bar. They have just the right amount of crunch! I pretty much gotta try something like this right away when it specifies limited time only!
Cinnabon Caramel Corn - Tastes just like you would expect, caramel corn sprinkled with the Cinnabon Cinnamon. Love. I wonder what they would taste like in a popcorn ball. I don't make popcorn balls, but I would use this blend if I did. That would be awesome.

~A

Sonja Dakar NutraSphere Flash Facial - Review

What I'm raving about this week!

I recently received the Sonja Dakar Nutra Sphere Flash Facial $95 in the FabFitFun Summer 2014 box. I'm not necessarily completely raving about this product, but it's not as bad as I had anticipated either. Once the spoiler had come out, I was really looking forward to it. But then I read some negative reviews and was a little concerned, so I needed to try this out myself.
This product is Paraben and Sulfate Free, and no artificial dyes. It has a pleasant smell. It's like a gel, but not too thick. I followed the directions on this one. I applied in a thin layer, and started removing after a minute and a half. I used a dry wash cloth, and rubbed it in circular motions. The product balled up a little. Then I washed the remainder off with warm water. It was quick and easy to use. I felt a little tingling at first, but not a stinging at all.
 
Verdict: I have only used once, but I don't have anything to rave about it. I like it well enough, and my face feels really clean. Really clean. I just can't say this is any different than any other face mask I've used. It feels similar to the types of face masks that you put on and peel off. I also highly recommend following with a serum and moisturizer, as there are some drying ingredients in this one.
 
~A


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sample Society - Allure July 2014 Review

Sample Society with Allure is a monthly subscription box from BeautyBar.com. They have recently revamped the box. I had cancelled my subscription a couple months ago, because they send the tiniest of samples. Then I resubscribed when the May box looked good, but was disappointed once again with the June box. Also, when I subscribed again, the price was now $15. Just as I was about to unsubscribe again, they announce they have "revamped" the box. I have definitely criticized them in the past for not really shipping true deluxe size samples like they claimed.  I had to see what the revamp was all about. It sounds like everyone got the same box this month, with different colors on a couple items, but next month shipments will go out according to profiles.
First thing I noticed is this is now in a bright red box, with a new name, Allure Sample Society. It used to be in a black box with the name Beautybar.com Sample Society with Allure. I like the new design.
The next thing that was noticeably different is the info card. It now actually tells about the products, instead of giving beauty tips or talking about other products. I liked the old mini mags, but I'm actually a fan of receiving information about the products that are actually in the box.
First Look! I'm liking it already! They say they will be sending five deluxe samples, mix of skin, hair, makeup, and fragrance.
Butter London nail polish in "The Old Bill" $15 - Full size! LOVE! Any butter London nail polish is a hit for me, and this color just makes it that much cooler. Three different colors were available, all shiny mettallics. I love the one I got.
 
 
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Aqua Universalie Eau de Toilette - full size cost is $175, but I don't know how to assign a value to a sample. Anyway, it's a fragrace. So, it's a complete waste on me.
Fekkai PrX Reparatives Intense Fortifying Masque - $8 This is a deep conditioning treatment, takes 5 minutes, once a week. and I've heard great things about it. I've been meaning to try this so I'm happy to see it this month. I'm also happy it truly is deluze size 1.69oz.
L'Oreal Paris Extraordinaire by Colour Riche Liquid Lipcolor in Ruby Opera - $9.99. Another FULL SIZE product! So happy to see this. I thought it was a lipstick, but after browsing through the info card I realize it's lipgloss. I LOVE the color, perfect for me.
Laura Mercier Matte Radiance Baked Powder in Highlight 01 - LOVE Full size is $36, and this is .06 oz. Which is perfect for me. I am also thrilled with the light color, instead of getting one of the bronzers from this same line. It's very shimmery and is used to accent features. This is good quality and gets excellent reviews.
 
That's it for the July Allure Sample Society box. The website says there will be a $10 coupon included to redeem at Beautybar.com. I did not get this, but from what I understand, it is posted online. This means when you log onto your account it gives you the code. I'm really glad I stuck around to see the new design. I'm thrilled with this months box, especially thrilled they now include deluxe size and full size items. It's looking like this will now be of equivalent to Birchbox and Ipsy.
 
~A
 


Tips: Highlighter, Illuminators, Bronzer, Brighteners, Concealers

Highlighters, Illuminators, Bronzers, Brighteners, Concealers

What's the difference?  What are they for? When is best to use each one? I've been getting a few questions recently on this very topic, so I thought I would do a quick post.

Highlighters:
Highlighters bring attention to the spots you are highlighting, so make sure the highlighter blends well with your skin tone. The main areas that you should apply make up highlighter to include the cheekbones and temples, the eyes (basically draw a C around the eybrow and eye), and the Cupid bow (the area on your upper lip). When applying to cheeks, blend highlighter on the highest point of the cheekbones, up towards the temple. For eyes, blend highlighter underneath the eyebrow on the brow bone and into the inner crease. And when applying to the Cupid bow, just put on a light dab and add a touch underneath the bottom lip as well. You can apply highlighter with a foundation brush, a cosmetic sponge or if the highlighter comes in a stick form, then simply draw in the indicated areas with the stick. It works well when applied after foundation, but before blush. Proper contouring can make you look 10 lbs lighter. Just sayin'.
Bronzer:
Bronzers are good for contouring, adding definition to your face, or giving you that sun-kissed glow. You should never use one more than two shades darker than your skin tone. For a sun-kissed glow, apply it in places the sun would naturally hit: cheeks, lightly on nose and forehead. It's best to apply in a circular motion, to ensure proper blending. You should apply light coats, and layer if you need it darker. this helps prevent uneven streaking. To use it for contouring, brush on the "bronze" to the hollow of the cheeks for definition and dust around the face line to create a healthy glow. Then use blush on the apple of the cheeks to create a subtle healthy glow. Some bronzers are matte or shimmery, matte is best for contouring, and shimmery is best for achieving a bronzed look. If you use foundation, this should be applied after.
Illuminators:
Illuminators add that extra hint of shine and shimmer. Illuminators are very sheer, and provide an extra glow that the other products can't. Cream forms work best. They can be used to contour, by applying to the hollows of cheeks, or brow lines. You can also apply to the bridge of your nose to slim your face. It looks great with just a tinted moisturizer. It also looks great when used to complement your foundation. Apply after you use your foundation. Add by following the high cheekbone up to eyelevel. Blend until you’ve achieved your desired shimmer. Seriously, blend, blend, blend. This should just disappear.
Brighteners:
When you hear the term brightener, you are either hearing about an eye brightener, a facial cleanser, or a moisturizer. For purposed of this post, we are talking about eye brightener. Eye brighteners are good for highlighting the eyes. Eye brighteners are generally a translucent liquid, this should be applied after your foundation, but prior to doing your eye makeup. Start with the inner corner and work your way by sweeping across the lid and then, beneath the lashes. I cannot recommend a brightener pencil, as I think this is too strong for the sensitive eye area. Brighteners should be used over concealer and foundation.
Concealers:
A concealer or color corrector is a type of cosmetic that is used to mask dark circles, age spots, large pores, and other small blemishes visible on the skin. A concealer can come in stick, liquid, or pencil form. I do not recommend using the pencil type around the eye area, as the skin is more sensitive. You should use no more than two shades lighter than your skin tone, as again, this should blend. Liquid concealers are best applied with a brush or sponge, and  also it is good to use them to blend stick concealers. They can be applied before or after foundation, it's really a personal preference.
 
~A

Beauty DNA June 2014 Review





My second beauty DNA box finally arrived. I couldn't tell you why I never recieved a box for May. I was very happy to see two items in my box! I tried the wen conditioner and so far I loved it! The vanilla mint scent is amazing and has a cooling effect when I used it. My hair feels so soft after using it however, as I was drying my hair soo much hair was coming falling out. I'm not sure if coincidence or not, but I liked the results so much that I wil continue to use it. The second item was sunscreen which I could not be more excited about! I am starting my summer marina job soon so I have been stocking up on sunscreen and this one is paraben free and has less toxic chemicals so it will be put to good use! Overall this is still one of my favorite boxes! I had to cancel for June but can't wait to get august's box!

-k

Her Fashion Box May 2014 Review

I was notified there was a package for me to pick up at the post office. I wasn't expecting anything that needed my signature, so I was thrilled to see that Her Fashion Box had kindly sent me this box to review. Her Fashion Box is a monthly subscription service based out of Australia, and you may receive products that are not necessarily available here in the states (Amazon notwithstanding). You receive at least 2-3 fashion accessories and at least 4 beauty and lifestyle deluxe samples. You fill out a fashion profile and your products are sent based on your preferences (Classic, Feminine, or Trendy). We received Classic.
This pic is of the shipping box. It is designed to flatten out after opening, which I love since I don't spend a lot of time doing that before filling up my recycling bin.
The box inside the box is a nice sturdy box. It's also designed to flatten out for storage. This has a magnetic closure on the box, and it will make a great gifting box.

The information booklet is a mini mag that talks about the products, prices, and included pics on how to wear the included accessories. This link gives you the details on this months products.
Trifecta cuff - $19.99 - We do not really wear cuffs in this house. Also, I can't say this is the highest quality, but it's certainly not the worst we've gotten either. It's sturdy enough and we do think it's cute.
 
Bioderma - We received two small bottles (20 ml each) of makeup remover/cleanser. These are sample size but full size is $29.95. Bioderma Sebium (for combination oily skin)  H20 and Crealine H2o (for sensitive skin). If you aren't familiar with Bioderma, they have products for nine (9) different types of skin.
Sprinkle Ear Cuff - $12.99 -  I do not ever see a possibility that I would wear an ear cuff. K however,  wears them often, so this is perfect for her.
Clova Body Scrub & Bath Salt - $14.50 - I love getting body scrubs and bath salts, and this can be used for either use. I also love the info booklet contained tips, such as where they tell you always exfoliate before shaving, as doing so after can irritate the skin. This is one of those things that some of us learn the hard way...
House of Holland nails "Dotty" $15.99 - These are like press on nails. There were 3 different choices and the one I received is cute. This is totally K's style.
label.m Dry Shampoo - $34.95 - I know I said that I was over receiving dry shampoos this year, but I am actually happy to try a new brand. I read a few reviews, mostly positive, so now can't wait to try. 
 
Nicola Finetti Makeup bag - $39.99 - I think this is cute and I'm actually impressed with how sturdy this appears. This is bigger than an ipsy bag. And much better quality.
 
Total value of the box was around $155, based on the prices listed in the information booklet. I do not believe this is the costs to purchase these items in the states, as I can find the prices much cheaper on Amazon. I do still feel the value is good for the box as it includes full size items, and always includes accessories.
 
This was a fun box for us. We want to thank Her Fashion Box for thinking of us and providing this box for review.
 
~A
 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Fancy Mystery Box - April 2014

I have just now gotten around to posting the April Fancy Mystery box. I know, I'm behind. Anyway, when I first heard that Fancy had started this, I just new I had to find out what the Fancy Mystery Box was all about. There are 3 different sizes Small $10, Medium $20, and Large $40. I picked the Large.

 
 
Gold Plated Chain - I couldn't find a fancy link for this, but considering the quality, it's probably best. K found part of her chain was not actually gold plated, guess a part got skipped.
http://fancy.com/things/635052306143910240/Square-Jellyfish-Cell-Phone-Tripod-Mount 
Jellyfish Tripod - I was excited to see this, it was definitely my favorite item in the box. But I've now had it since April, and have yet to actually get around to using. Maybe some day?
Shark Tooth - K was really hoping we would be receiving this. She is thrilled to get it.
 
Infinity scarf. I didn't open this because it's just going to be put away until fall arrives.
 
Milano Skeleton Rubber Watch. K was really hoping for this watch, and was totally thrilled to see itUnfortunately, ours came broken. K was able to fix it though.
 
 The Fancy Mystery box was fun, and I'll probably do it again at some point.

~A