Tuesday, July 31, 2012

June Birchbox

It's time for another Birchbox!

I love getting my Birchboxes. :) It's like a birthday present every month. Totally worth $10! Keep reading to find out about some new products that I discovered and LOVED!

Birchbox Man Extra: John Varvatos - Star USA cologne (Full size - $55-70)
The Birchbox company recently started catering to the male population by offering a Birchbox Man subscription.  Since this box technically came before Father's Day in June, they provided a sample of men's cologne to give to a male friend or family member. I smelled it and liked it so much... I just might use it myself. :)

Eyeko - Fat Eye Stick in Old Gold (Full size - $15)
This Eyeko Fat Eye Stick is really fantastic. It goes on SOOOO smoothly and is extremely blendable. I've never worked with an easier-to-use cream shadow. I used my usual Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion first, so this stuff didn't budge for at LEAST 10 hours. I have oily skin, so no matter what the eye shadow claims about creasing, it ALWAYS creases on me. But not with my holy grail primer. :)

In the photos, this looks kind of bronze-y, but it is closer to a metallic gold shade with olive undertones. Very pretty.

theBalm cosmetics - Stainiac in Beauty Queen (Full size - $17)
Likewise - Facial Moisturizer + Sun Protectant SPF 50 (Full size - $44)
Comodynes - Self-Tanning Intensive towelettes (Pack of 8 - $14.99)

Stainiac is a very cool two-in-one lip and cheek stain. It is a sheer gel that looks very dark in the tube, but once applied to the lips or face, it leaves a subtle "flushed" look. I tried to swatch it in the photo below, but once I rubbed in the little blob you see, it was too difficult to photograph. It's really great to use when you want some color on your lips, but nothing too heavy. It also tends to stick around longer than your average lip color. 

Likewise moisturizer/sunscreen is great, too! Not too heavy or oily like suncreen-containing products usually are. If it wasn't so pricey, I'd definitely purchase it. But I got a very similar product from my dermatologist for $30-something. Maybe I should review that later? Let me know if you're interested. 

As for the Comodynes tanning towelettes? Haven't touched them. I've never been a fan of self-tanning products because of the smell. I don't care how much they claim they don't smell... they do. And I hate the smell. So I've just decided to embrace my pale skin. My dermatologist was happy about my pale skin, no skin cancer for me!

tili Bags (Pack of 9-12 - $8.49 to $9.49)
tili bags are basically just fancy Ziploc bags. They're cute, but I'm not spending nearly ten bucks for about ten bags. No sir. 

I'm so glad you made it to the end. :-P Hope you learned about some new stuff today! 

Also, just a heads up, tomorrow night is a FULL MOON. *gasp*


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chanel - Pirate

Ohhhhhhh Sunday. 

The day before Monday.


ANYWAY! Look at what I got. :D (I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I actually got this polish for my birthday way back in April. I used it immediately on my toes, but never posted photos because you really don't want to see my toes.)

Chanel - Pirate
AMG!!! How pretty, right? My husband just so happens to read every single blog post, however boring or un-relatable they may be to him. He read THIS ONE about my desire to own this polish back in February and held on to the info until April. Then he wandered into Dillard's and purchased it. He deserves lots of bonus points for that!

As mentioned in the blog post that I linked to above, I feel that this polish is very similar to Revlon - Velvet Rope. Have I done a proper comparison yet? I'm glad you asked, because no I haven't!! In the bottles, I think Pirate might be slightly lighter, but I felt they were close enough to not have to own both. However, did I say "NO" when I opened the gift my husband got me? HA! No. ;)

Macro shot
Chanel - Pirate is a lovely deep red jelly. It wasn't necessarily the easiest formula to apply, but it wasn't horrible. The first coat was a bit tricky, but after applying a second coat, things smoothed out just fine. The top coat made everything look flawless.

I'm so happy I finally own this polish. I feel fancy when I tell people, "Yeahhh... it's Chanel."

EDIT: Chanel polishes are available at your local Dillard's. Most retail for $26, which is what this particular polish cost. A friend asked if I thought the polish justified the price tag. My answer is no. I think it is lovely, but I doubt I'd ever go purchase this polish on my own. I'd rather find a cheap duplicate. However, it made a FANTASTIC gift!

Just a reminder: all photos are clickable to enlarge. And just in case you DO happen to enlarge them, you might notice some small scratches on the surface of my nails. This is because I painted my nails and had to rush out of the house before I could snap any pictures. NOT because the polish is lame. Because it's not. For real.

By the time I got home that evening, they still looked okay, just a little scratched. I should have put on another quick layer of top coat, but I didn't think of that until it was too late. Bummer.

Thanks guys. Much love. Peace.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zoya - Myrta Gradient

Helloooooooo shiny red/orange Zoya nail polish!

Myrta is from Zoya's Beach & Surf Summer 2012 collection. Myrta is a coral/red metallic micro glitter. I love it by itself... but I decided to try out a gradient on a couple of accent nails and I was really impressed! This was my first gradient and I am very happy with how it turned out. I can't wait to try more!

Zoya - Myrta & Wet N Wild - Goldmine

Macro shot of my gradient

One more shot of Zoya - Myrta & Wet N Wild - Goldmine

I purchased some other polishes from this same collection, so I'll be posting some manicures with those colors soon. Hope you love Myrta as much as I do!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner


I have some good news for one lucky person today! My nail polish giveaway ended last night while I was asleep, and I'm just now getting the opportunity to announce the winner. 

Essie Poppy-Razi Collection

Congratulations, Mass Deaf (A.K.A. Timothy)! That's right ladies... the ONLY male that entered my giveaway managed to win. The odds were apparently in his favor. He plans to make sure the polishes get used to their full potential by kindly gifting them to his girlfriend. 

Proof that I didn't make it up!

Rafflecopter selected the winner randomly, so I hope there are no hard feelings!

Also, I thought I'd throw in the fun little fact that the terms and conditions at the bottom of the giveaway stated "By entering this giveaway, you are agreeing to be my personal slave until the rest of forever. I can also keep the nail polish in this giveaway and mail you paper towels instead." I don't suppose I'll hold you all to this, but I sure didn't want to let it go unknown. ;)

Hope you have a great evening! I'll be working on other posts after this so you'll have something more interesting to read soon. 


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

May GlossyBox


I don't know about you guys, but when I first discovered Birchbox, I became addicted to beauty box subscriptions. I signed up for all kinds of different boxes. Unfortunately, some of the boxes that I REALLY wanted were only available in the UK. 

That is until GlossyBox finally became available in the US! They released their first round of boxes in April, but there were a very limited number available and the only way to get one was to WIN it. :( I didn't win, but that's okay, I eventually got my May box. And I very recently received (and will review) my June box. 

The difference between Birchbox and GlossyBox is probably the cost, and maybe the size of the samples. Birchbox is $10 per month and GlossyBox is $21 per month, both no shipping. GlossyBox's samples seem to be quite large, sometimes full size! I honestly think it is worth the extra money, for sure. 

Even the packaging is higher quality with the GlossyBox!

All my goodies!

Bonus blush brush - Made from goat's hair
 This seems to be a nice brush, but I never wear blush so I haven't really gotten much use out of it. *shrug*

Burberry Beauty - Lip Mist Natural Sheer Lipstick Copper No. 202 (Full Size - $30)
I was very excited about this lipstick! Look at the pretty packaging! Plus the color is very neutral and not too bright or dark. I've worn this several times and I love the way it feels on my lips. I don't know that I'll purchase the full size, but I'm so glad to have gotten this. I feel fancy!

Pretty details on the lipstick
I had to do some editing on this photo so you could see the pretty details. I almost didn't want to use it for fear of messing that part up!

Zoya - Rory (Full Size - $8)
Ummm.... squeeeeeeee! Nail polish?!!!! They know the way to my heart. Unfortunately, I'm not a huge fan of the girly girly pink, but I'll survive. I painted my toes with this and thought it was very pretty. The formula was lovely, as to be expected from Zoya.

PHYTO - Phytojoba Intense Hydrating Mask for Dry Hair (Full Size - $38)
I was very impressed with this mask. After using it, my hair definitely felt extraaaaa soft! :) You don't have to use much for it to work well.

Amore Pacific - Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel (Full Size - $100)
I wish I would have taken a picture of the inside of this little tub. The contents look like a creamy gel. I love it, but I've been needing a slightly heavier moisturizer recently so I haven't used it much. I will not repurchase it because I'm not willing to spend $100 on a moisturizer. Priorities, people. Priorities!!!

Marvis - Whitening Mint Toothpaste (Full Size - $7.50)
 TOOTHPASTE?!!!!!! Yes please. I loved this stuff. The taste was a bit different from the Colgate that I usually use, but its still minty & good.

What do you think about the GlossyBox? I love it! I will try my hardest to get the review for the June box up within the next day or two (plus the last two Birchboxes!).


Monday, July 16, 2012

Grapefruit Nail Art

Get your sunglasses ready... I may have played with some bright colors!

I decided to do citrus-y type nail art and was pretty impressed with how it turned out. It's far from perfect, but you can tell what it is supposed to be, right? :)

All photos are clickable to enlarge!

The pretty neon green is China Glaze - I'm With The Lifeguard. This is from their Summer Neons 2012 Collection. I saw this color swatched on other blogs and definitely had to have it. I LOVE green.

Here's the grapefruit (or orange) on my right hand. Which means I painted it with my left hand. It's not terribly intricate stuff, but I'm still really amazed by my artistic abilities. ;)

For the nail art, I just used a very fine-tipped art brush. I blobbed out each color onto a sheet of foil as I needed it. 

Macro Shot!

The formula of China Glaze - I'm With The Lifeguard is lovely. The first coat can be a little streaky or bald, but it only takes two coats to get full opacity. You don't need "underwear" to make it as bright as it is in these photos. That's the annoying thing about a lot of neons, but none of these need a base of white.

All of the pretty colors I used
From left to right: OPI - MonSooner or Later, Essie - Lights, Wet N Wild Wild Shine - Sunny Side Up,  China Glaze - Sun-Kissed, China Glaze - I'm With The Lifeguard, Essie Luxeffects - Shine of the Times.

Thanks for taking a peek at my nails. Hope your eyes re-adjust quickly. ;)

Also... DON'T FORGET to check out my giveaway! It ends this Sunday at midnight!


Monday, July 2, 2012

The Most Interesting Polish Addict in the World


I know how we all love the hilarious memes that are floating around the internet lately, so when I saw this on a nail polish blog I follow & love (Ice Queen's Nail Parlour) I HAD to share it. 

Glad we all had a good laugh. Have a happy Monday! *groans* :-/


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Review: WEN Cleansing Conditioner


Prepare yourself for lots of blabbering and jib-jabbering (yeah, I'm aware how cheesy lame that sounds) about a product I really like.

Quickly though, if you somehow managed to miss my last blog post about the giveaway I'm doing, please CHECK IT OUT! It's FREE nail polish... who doesn't like that? :)

And now for the real reason I'm here: My review for the WEN cleansing conditioner. I could also title this blog "How To Keep Red Hair From Fading". 

You may or may not have heard of this product. As far as I know, at least in the Oklahoma area, this product is only available for purchase online. I first heard about it when a former coworker informed me that she saw an infomercial about it and it claimed to not wash out hair color. This information peaked my interest, but I was quite skeptical. 

If you know me very well, you know that I am always coloring my hair. My favorite color to play with is definitely red. I can hear some of you groan because you've tried red (and/or other colors), and it fades SO quickly. You either go to the salon or color it yourself and within a matter of 3-4 washes, it is no longer vibrant. After  8-10 washes, you basically can't even tell your hair ever had a hint of red in it. At least that is how it has worked for me. Yet I LOVE and cannot resist the confidence I have with red hair.

That being said, red hair color is so high maintenance that I've given up on it several times. I've tried a lot of things to keep it vibrant, but to no avail. So, as I said, I was very skeptical about this product, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I thought on it a lot because it is a little pricey, but considering it is essentially a 2-in-1 product, I convinced myself it wasn't that bad. ;) Read on to find out how much I like this product!

I took pictures of each section on the back so you can read the information for yourself. I am OBSESSED with reading every last bit of the backs of my product bottles, so in case there is anyone else like that out there, eat your heart out!

When I first read the directions, I thought that 10-20 pumps seemed excessive. I seriously thought they were just trying to get you to use too much product so you would have to repurchase more often. However, if you purchase this, you DO need that many pumps. If you use too few, the "cleansing" part of the cleansing conditioner isn't as effective. For my oily hair, that means that it doesn't wash out all of the oiliness. :( When I used this for the first time or two and discovered after blow drying my hair that it was still oily, I was very disappointed and almost threw it out. I was convinced that this product just wasn't made for oily hair. For some reason I cannot remember I decided to give it another go, and I managed to actually follow the directions. Genius, right?! This time around my hair felt very clean and oil-free, and it seemed moisturized and soft as well. Yay!

Once I figured out how to properly work this new discovery, I used it in place of my regular shampoo and conditioner. I used it every time I washed my hair for the next 3 or 4 weeks. It was amazing! My hair had somehow managed to maintain most of its red color. Yes, I'll admit my hair had faded a little, but not as much as it usually does. If you never washed your red hair with shampoo, but just got it wet in the shower, it will still fade. So I was and still am very happy with the results. The next time I had to color my hair was because the roots were growing out, NOT because the red had completely disappeared!

For whatever reason, I decided to give my shampoo and conditioner another go before I colored my hair to cover the roots. I guess I just wanted to see what would happen? SO MUCH red washed out in that ONE wash it was impressive. I don't know what I was expecting would happen, but it definitely wasn't that. 

A quote from the WEN website: "Unlike many ordinary shampoos, WEN® cleansers are made with natural ingredients and contain no sodium laurel sulfate or other damaging detergents. They don't lather; instead, they create smooth foam when mixed with water for shinier, healthier-looking, more manageable results." The part about it not lathering is very true, and it takes a while to get used to. I've used lathering shampoos all my life, but just because it is not lathering doesn't mean it is not cleaning. 

Now let me get this out of the way. If you have previously tried shampoos that claimed to not have sulfates and were disappointed, don't let that deter you from this. I have tried one or two that still seemed to be drying to my hair and scalp, and it also didn't stop the fading of my hair color. This one is different. 

Also, a shampoo pet peeve of mine? That damn John Frieda Radiant Red Shampoo that claims to "preserve and magnify vibrant red color". As far as I'm concerned, it is no different from any other shampoo out there. It has all kinds of sulfates in it and if your shampoo has any of that, I don't care how much the bottle says it, it will NOT prevent fading. 

**Steps down off soap box.** 

I will leave you with a couple of links for places you can find this product.
  • WEN® hair care by Chaz Dean - Official Site - http://www.wenhaircare.com/
    • This site is only if you want to buy a subscription to this product. It is $29.95 for a 30 day supply which includes a 12 oz. bottle of the cleansing conditioner as well as several other extras. I think it is a good site to learn about the product, but I personally hate having subscriptions to products. 
  • ChazDean.com
    • I like this site. I haven't yet purchased from it because I just discovered it while researching for this blog post. I like it because, unlike the QVC site below, you can purchase each scent separately. 
    • $32 + shipping (~$10+) for 16 oz. bottle
  • QVC.com
    • This is where I purchased the bottle you see in the photos above. Overall, I would say this is the site where I've found the cheapest cleansing conditioner, but there aren't as many options. I was able to buy the Summer Mango Coconut by itself, but I can't seem to find many other scents that aren't bundled with other products. 
    • $29 + Shipping (~$6-7) for a 16 oz. bottle. $40 for two 16. oz bottles.
  • You can also purchase this from Amazon.com or eBay, but you never know how much it's going to cost. I got lucky the first 2 times and purchased it cheap, but currently everything I can find is more expensive than the other sites I've mentioned.
The cleansing conditioner comes in multiple different scents, and I have found that they cater to different hair types:
Cucumber aloe - Fine hair, and those with oily scalps but dry ends.
Fig - Thick, coarse, curly hair, and any hair that is extremely dry/damaged.
Lavender - All hair types, this is their volumizing cleansing conditioner. 
Pomegranate - All hair types.
Summer Mango Coconut - All hair types. (Limited edition)
Sweet Almond Mint - Fine to medium textured hair.
Tea Tree - For anyone experiencing scalp issues like itchiness or flakiness.

Boy... I have rambled a LOT. I have so much to share about this cleansing conditioner, as well as my experiences with red hair. I will stop here and let you recover from reading my novel... If you've made it this far, thanks SO much for reading!