Friday, September 30, 2011

A post full of random-ness. My gray hair, The new Revlon foundation, Etc.

Natalie Friday, September 30, 2011 26 Comments
(Image Source)
Okay, the image at the bottom is completely random (well, more random than the first one - kinda?!) but I thought it was totally cute.

Anyway, what that arrow pointing to is, one crazy strand of gray (snow white, actually) hair, trying to steal the show today. haha!

One thing that I always put off is dying my hair. I really don't like dying my hair. It's a pure nuisance to me. But, it seems these days I can't get away with not dying my hair for months at a time like I use to, or I'll have a ton of these little grays shining through my bangs. Honestly, it really isn't a big deal and I'm not really freaking out about it - just really surprised!

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

First Impressions + partial review: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer!

Natalie Thursday, September 29, 2011 27 Comments
Some of you maybe remembered, last week I stopped in at Sephora on the search for a tinted moisturizer. I've never used one prior, but my curiosity got the best of me, and I picked up a sample of Laura Mercier's Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer. (original post here)

Laura Mercier makes two formulations of the tinted moisturizers, one containing oil and one that is oil free. Both formulations have the same shade range and same SPF (20). I wasn't sure which one to choose, but when I told the Sephora Sales Associate that I have sensitive/prone to breakouts skin, she recommended I try the oil free version. I was matched to the shade "Sand".

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
Oil Free Formula - This lightweight foundation that can be reapplied as necessary, offers sun protection for sensitive or acne prone skin, oil control, and provides hydration to prevent dryness.

Regular Formula - Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer is a sheer, lightweight formula with a hint of color you can use in place of foundation for a natural finish and a healthy glowing complexion. It contains a SPF 20 for the ultimate in anti-aging prevention.

(The oil free formula is described as a foundation, and the regular formula rather calls it a "formula" that can be used in place of a foundation. I'm guessing because the regular version acts as more of a moisturizer with a tint and with the oil free version, it's more of a "tint" that doesn't give off added moisture.)

Aside from the tinted moisturizer, I was given a sample of the oil free primer. Every time I've used the tinted moisturizer, I've always used the primer beforehand. The first time using this, I attempted to apply the tinted moisturizer with my fingers. That doesn't work too well. I was really surprised that the texture is rather thick and doesn't spread evenly. I resorted to using my Sigma F80 Flat Top Foundation brush, and it worked out much better. So I basically apply it the same way I would any foundation. Dot it all over my face and blend with my brush. Because it's sheer, I'll use a little more product than I'd normally wear with a heavier foundation. The tube is 1.7 oz, compared to most foundations weighing in at 1 oz, so you can afford to use a little more. On my normal skin, (not oily or dry, a little shine in the t-zone) the finish is a satin - light dewy (not greasy) finish. Most of the reviews I've read for this said it has a very dewy, even an oily finish. I didn't experience that. I do have to set with powder though, because it seems to highlight the pores on my cheeks and add shine to my nose and chin. It instantly transforms when I apply my Guerlain Meteorites (my setting powder) and buff it into my skin with a kabuki. The finish is absolutely gorgeous. It looks incredibly natural and completely undetectable on my face. It looks like I may of using a dusting of a very fine milled powder, but that's all. It lasts well through an 8 hour day with little fading by the time I wash my face.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Jewelmint Ever Frost Ring Review with Lots of Photos!

Natalie Wednesday, September 28, 2011 18 Comments
jewelmint ever frost ring

Jewelmint Ever Frost Ring

ITEM DESCRIPTION: Alpine trend alert! Get lost in a winter wonderland with this sleek design. Our 1” wide geometric ring boats pave crystal icing and pearly white enamel. Pulling off this piece yearlong is easy with its glowing 14k gold-plated sides. Give your closet a fresh spin, and live out your Snow White fantasy in the most modern way.

I can't really say all of the Jewelmint pieces are "me", but I'll usually find at least one piece a month that I really like. This month the only others I liked were the Western Dream Earrings, Lunar Blue Necklace and Silver Zip Bracelet. I've liked the Silver Zip Bracelet for a while now, and I feel like I'll regret not eventually getting it. I guess I'm just waiting for a good coupon code to come along (a really good coupon code).


I liked the Ever Frost Ring a lot in the photos, and I'm really happy with my choice. I love mixing metals and the fact that it's silver, gold and white, it's very versatile. I've been wearing it with both silver, gold and rose gold and it always matches great. I really like the way it looks on the same hand with my Rose Gold watch combined with a silver bracelet. It's really trendy, edgy and is definitely a statement ring. 

It seems very well crafted, and although it may look really heavy, it's actually pretty lightweight. My ring finger is a 6, but since I didn't know how the sizing would run, to be safe, I figured I'd order a 7. I'd most likely wear it on pointer finger or middle finger anyway. Well, I got the 7 and it falls right off my ring finger but fits fine on my pointer and middle finger - it's not very snug on either, so I believe it runs slightly large, if anything.

jewelmint ever frost ring

Did you order anything this month?

If you haven't heard of Jewelmint, check it out HERE. There are so many coupon codes out that it's hard to keep track of them all, but the best codes are always for first time purchases.

The best code I found for New Members/First Purchase is 60% OFF Your first piece with code: EXITPOP60. It's not stated when it expires (it may be 9/30). It will bring the $29.99 price tag down to $11.99 AND you get free shipping. Awesome deal.

For Existing Members, the best I've found is $8 OFF your next purchase with code: AEREE. You'll end up paying $21.99 with free shipping, which isn't too bad depending on the item you choose (some seem more worth it than others).

Happy Shopping!

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Things I've been loving lately + FOTD!

Natalie Monday, September 26, 2011 32 Comments

1) Clarins Vital Light Serum - This is probably the best smelling serum I've ever owned. I've been using this for the past couple of weeks and my skin has been looking fabulous. I will have a full review to come soon, but so far, I'm obsessed with it. 
2) Dr. Brandt Dark Circles Away™ Collagen Eye Serum - I got a couple samples of this from Sephora and I've been using it every night. I really do see a reduction in my dark circles (temporary, of course) and it moisturizes really well. I'd love to purchase it, but at $55 for a 1/2 oz... errr, I doubt it. Hopefully I can grab some more samples.
3) Anastasia Clear Brow Gel  - Now that my brows are so thick, a brow gel is very necessary. Even though I love my MAC Brow Set for tinting my brows, it doesn't hold my un-ruly brows in place all day. So, I've been using a mini version of the Anastasia Brow Gel that came with a kit of mine and it's worked the best for me so far! I'll be purchasing a full-size once I go to ULTA. 
4) MAC Paint Pots I've been loving my MAC Paint Pots lately and for the past month, it's all I've been wearing on my eyes. They're easy and they last. I want more!
5) MAC 181SE Kabuki Brush - I got this in a recent swap and I've been using it every say for setting powder. It's a perfect brush to keep in my bad for touch ups. I'm going to try finding a back-up or two.. ;)
6) Real Techniques Blush Brush - This has become my favorite brush for applying blush. Everything about the brush is perfect. It's soft, the shape is perfect and it applies & blends my blush really well. 
7) Physician's Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner in Ultra-Black - I got this liner on a whim, and I'm so happy I did. I can confidently say this is my favorite liquid liner pen of all time. The tip is amazing and it makes applying eyeliner incredibly fast and easy. It also lasts all day!
8) Maybelline One by One and Maybelline The Falsie's Mascaras I've been alternating between these two mascaras for the past month, and I like them a lot for dramatic lashes. I would re-purchase both! 
9) E.L.F Studio Conditioning Lip Balm in Peaceful Pink - I just started using this after having it for a few months. It's so moisturizing and the perfect pink for every day. It's for sure one of my favorite products from E.L.F. I just hate the darn packaging! Me + Lip Brushes = no bueno. 
10) Milani Lipstick in Rosehip - I was looking for a bright pink lipstick that is more pink than fuschia - which many bright pinks tend to lean toward, and I came across Rosehip. This is a definite must-have. I'll do a post on it soon, as you can't tell the true color from my FOTD below.. In the mean time, you can drool over Temptalia's swatch of it.

(Image Credit: Temptalia.com)

Here's a FOTD from the other day. I've pretty much been doing the same look for the past couple of weeks.

Face: 
MAC Select Moisturecover Concealer NW20 (under eyes, applied with my fingers)
Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua B30 + 1/2 pump of Guerlain Parure Extreme in #3 for added coverage (applied with Coastal Scents Bionic Buffer Brush)
Ben Nye Neutral Set Powder (under eyes to set concealer, applied with a tapered blending brush)
Guerlain Meteorites in Mythic (to set foundation, applied with a kabuki brush)
MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powder in Honey Rose (on my cheeks & bridge of my nose, applied with Sigma F50)
Physician's Formula Healthy Glow Bronzer (for added warmth and contour, applied with MAC #168 brush)

Eyes: 
MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot (all over my lids, applied with my fingers)
MAC Jardin Aires Pigment (all over my lid, on top of Rubenesque)
MAC Groundwork Paint Pot (smudged into my upper and lower lashline with a pencil brush)
MAC Quite Natural Paint Pot (smudged into my crease with a pencil brush, blending any harsh edges with my fingers)
Physician's Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner in Ultra Black (upper lashline)
Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner in Black (on my waterline)
Maybelline One by One Mascara

Brows:
MAC Eyebrow Retractable Crayon in Spiked
Anastasia Clear Brow Gel

Lips:
MAC Lipliner Pencil in Oak
E.L.F. Studio Conditioning Lip Balm in Peaceful Pink
Milani Lipstick in Rosehip (applied very sheerly)
Sally Hansen Extreme Lip Plumper (applied on top for shine)

Btw, the leopard scarf I'm wearing is from Forever 21. I purchased it last week, and I've been wearing it almost every day! Love it.



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Review: Clarins Instant Definition Mascara!

Natalie Monday, September 26, 2011 12 Comments
Clarins Instant Definition Mascara

This month Clarins launched a few new products, one of them being the Instant Definition Mascara to add to their permanent line of mascaras. Clarins may not be a brand you'd naturally think of when it comes to mascara, as they only have a few to choose from - all of which, don't have too many reviews. But, this mascara is definitely worth mentioning.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Naturally volumise and thicken your lashes with the Clarins Instant Definition Mascara, a nourishing formulation with an innovative brush. The creamy texture creates a highly resistant film along each and every lash for day-long wear that doesn't flake or smudge. The barrel shape of the brush ensures completely even coverage from root to tip, and densely packed bristles of the nylon fibre brush ensure glossy volume every time. The added bonus? An elastomer bristle tip that works to separate and define the tinier lashes for perfect lash precision. Lashes are thickened and restructured, with enviable body and shine thanks to an intense concentration of colour-rich pigments. The repairing formulation strengthens the lashes as it colours them, with mineral-rich red and brown algae extracts as well as glycoproteins to keep lashes in great shape. Opthamologist and dermatologist tested. Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lens wearers.

Directions for use: Apply mascara along the whole length of lashes, from root to tip, with the fibre brush. With the elastomer brush, make up the smallest, shortest lashes at the inner and outer corner of eyes, including the bottom lashes. Separate lashes one by one and optimize distribution of the mascara.

On the US site, this mascara is available in one shade; 01 Intense Black. *EDIT: It's actually available in three (3) shades. Intensive Black, Intensive Brown and Intensive Blue.

The star of this mascara is the design of the brush. If you all liked the wand of Benefit's They're Real Mascara because of the little bristles at the tip of the wand, you'll really like this wand. It's your standard bristle wand, not too large, not too small and towards the end of the wand, the bristles are very short. The design makes it a synch to get to those smaller lashes, especially in the corners of your eye and bottom lashes.

The packaging is also very nice. It's a pale gold, squared tube with a little groove on the handle of the wand, which makes a nice little grip for your thumb while applying the mascara. (seen in the first photo) It's also reflective, so if you happened to forget a mirror, you can use the tube. (BTW, Do any of you have a mirror app on your phone? I tried using my boyfriends and I just had to laugh. I think if the creators can't figure out how to somehow "morph" the phone into a real mirror, I don't think they should have a mirror app, period. I cannot see a dang thing in a face-forward, crappy pixelated camera.) I'm always a fan of pretty packaging (as long as the actual product delivers), especially gold packaging or detailing, so for all of you make-up snobs, it's something chic to have in your cosmetic bag. ;)

The mascara has a bit of a wet formula, so when I apply it after I've curled my lashes, I usually manage to get mascara on my eyelids. It is of course avoidable if you apply it with your head slightly tiled back, rather than applying it straight-on in the mirror. Usually when I apply the mascara, I rarely have to dip my brush back in for one eye. The end of the wand picks up enough product to evenly distribute across the lashes. Aside from the brush easily reaching the corners, I love that I can get real precise and apply the mascara directly to the base of my lashes. It's a great mascara for length and volume. It's easily buildable with the constant brushing of the lashes. It also doesn't clump my lashes together, which is always a plus. It also keeps my lashes nice and pliable (not crispy), so I can easily add another coat or comb through them later in the day.

Here are my lashes with one good coat.

Lastly, it doesn't flake throughout the day, and I've only noticed a teeny bit of transfer (smudges) under my eyes after several hours of wearing it. It only happened a couple of times though, and I think it was probably from not having my concealer properly set with powder. So I always make sure I set my under-eyes with a good amount of powder, and it doesn't transfer.

Overall, I really like this mascara and I'm going to continue using it on a daily basis. It's a little expensive at $24 a tube, so I'm not sure if I'd re-purchase it, but I'm happy with it's performance. 

Disclaimer: The product mentioned was sent to me for consideration. The opinions expressed in this post are all my own, from my personal experience with using this product.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

NOTD: Essie Ballet Slippers!

Natalie Saturday, September 24, 2011 18 Comments
Three (3) Coats of Essie Ballet Sippers & One (1) Coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
Three (3) Coats of Essie Ballet Sippers & One (1) Coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
(These photos were taken three days after I applied it. No chips yet!)

Essie Ballet Slippers is a pale, milky sheer pink. The polish isn't really meant to be opaque, but I applied three coats to better cover the discoloration of my tips (they are currently stained yellow-ish from my self tanner). Two coats looks nice for less opacity. I actually prefer the sheer look of two, because with the more coats you apply, the more pastel (almost white) the color will appear and it's too big of a contrast if I'm too tan. 

The formula isn't the best, as with a lot of Essie's polishes, it applies a bit streaky, but with careful hands & less brush strokes, you can get away with a streak-free manicure. 

I think it's a great shade for a formal occasion, the workplace or for every day. It's very natural, and looks polished, clean and feminine. It's also a great shade to use for french tips. 

According to Essie, it's one of their best sellers. I think it's the simplicity of the shade that makes it so popular. It's one of those no brainer shades you can wear for absolutely anything and it will always match your outfit. Kind of like "your nails, but better."

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Review: Ellen Lange Express Retexturizing Peel Kit!

Natalie Saturday, September 24, 2011 5 Comments
Ellen Lange Express Retexturizing Peel Kit

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 
An effective, yet gentle, exfoliation process that removes dull surface cells to reveal healthy new skin. This peel kit combines glycolic, microbeads and enzymes to create an extremely effective at home peel.

The peel claims to minimize fine lines and wrinkles, even out skin tone, eliminate dry patches, minimize pore size and control periodic breakouts.

This peel kit contains 10% Glycolic. 5% in the peel accelerator pads and 5% in the peel solution. The pH of the Glycolic Acid is 3.5-3.7.

The Kit Includes:
Peel Prep (2 oz.)
Peel Accelerator Pads (60 pads)
Glycolic Peel Solution (1.5 oz.)
Fan Brush
Measuring Cup

Directions for use: 
Step #1 Peel Prep Scrub: Cleanse face and apply to slightly damp skin. Gently massage in a circular motion over entire face for 30 to 60 seconds. Leave on for an additional minute. Rinse well with water and pat dry.

Step #2 Peel Accelerator Pad: Gently wipe textured pad over entire face to accelerate exfoliation. Allow solution to completely dry.

Step #3 Peel Solution: Pump 1 teaspoon into marked dispensing cup provided. Use brush and follow diagram  (shown on the box) stroking solution over forehead, t-zone, chin and cheeks. Peel will foam gradually. Leave on for 8 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with water and gently pat dry.

*For extra benefit use Peel Accelerator Pads daily after cleansing at night. 


READ MORE FOR MORE INFO + MY REVIEW! 

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What's your favorite tinted moisturizer?

Natalie Wednesday, September 21, 2011 30 Comments
Since the beginning of time (or well, since High School) I've always been a huge fan of medium, buildable to full coverage foundations. The more buildable the better. I've researched every brand that offers high coverage foundations (and purchased several) and it wasn't until recently - maybe the past 6 months that I've realized I don't need all that coverage. 

I always loved the look of a completely flawless, airbrushed face. Therefore, I never found interest in exploring each of my favorite brands lighter coverage options. 

My recent love, Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua opened up my mind, that more isn't always better. My preference for a foundation has actually changed from medium-full to light-medium.

I don't have acne, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, etc. All I have is a little redness in my cheeks and some minor blemishes here and there. Through watching one of Lisa Eldridge's videos, it really made me think. Why in the world am I covering up all of my "good" blemish-free skin with a full coverage foundation, because I have a breakout on my chin? That's what concealer is for. I definitely recommend watching the video below. It's extremely helpful!


I've grown to like the look of my redness peeking through my foundation a little bit and even some of my freckles - which I've always stressed concealing prior. 

Furthermore, I get asked pretty frequently what my favorite tinted moisturizer is, and the truth is, I've never tried one! So, I'd have to give recommendations based on reviews - rather than from my personal experience. Often times I recommend Laura Mericer or Bobbi Brown as they are really popular choices.

So, I made a special trip to Sephora to pick up a sample for myself of the oil-free tinted moisturizer. The Sales Associate was incredibly kind and recommended trying it with the oil-free primer, so I have a little sample of that as well. And she added in some really awesome extras - I'm very curious to try the Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Mascara. I've tried the waterproof version, and I really liked it! But it did transfer under my eyes after a couple of hours, which was a total bummer.


Anyway, can't wait to try the tinted moisturizer and I'll post my thoughts as soon as my sample is done! In the meantime, I'd love to hear all of your recommendations on your favorite tinted moisturizers so I can pick up a few more samples.

Talk to you all soon!

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Monday, September 19, 2011

NOTD: Essence Colour and Go in Date with the Night + Studio M Covered in Diamonds!

Natalie Monday, September 19, 2011 17 Comments
Two (2) Coats of Essence Colour & Go in Date with the Night & One (1) Coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
Date with the Night is a metallic pewter with extremely fine shimmers that are only visible under bright lights. It totally looks like a metallic silver-chocolate in the bottle, but I don't notice any brown tones when painted on the nails.

The Colour and Go polishes are usually a hit or miss with the formula. Some are just right, but many are on the thicker side. This polish is a bit thick, but the plus side is they are pretty opaque with one coat, so if you're running late and have nothing on your nails, you can really "colour and go". I have already used this polish twice, and I'm sure the next time I use it, I'll have to put a couple drops of nail polish thinner in the bottle. Brush strokes are noticeable with this formula, so if you have a shaky hand, it will definitely show on your nails.

Pretty color, not the best formula, but not bad for 99 cents. I get almost a weeks wear from these polishes, which for sure beat any other dollar nail polish at the drugstore. Yes, Wet n Wild and Sinful Colors, I'm talking about you.

I also picked up this funky, confetti/flake nail polish from Meijer called Covered in Diamonds. I haven't heard of Studio M polishes prior, and at $2.99 a pop, I thought I'd at least try one.

Covered in Diamonds has a clear base, and is filled with pastel confetti flakes that reflect blue, green, pink and orange. It's definitely a fun polish to have. The flakes are a little on the thick side though - so they all may not lie completely flat. For the best results, 1-2 coats of a top coat is necessary.


READ MORE FOR ADDITIONAL PHOTOS!


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Giveaway Winner: Sweet As Honey Blog

Natalie Monday, September 19, 2011 6 Comments
Hey Everyone!

I'm really sorry I didn't get a chance to announce the winner yet, I've been a little under the weather lately.

I'd like to thank all of those who entered and newly subscribed to my blog, as well as those who have been subscribed to my blog for some time. I really appreciate all of your love, support and wonderful comments!

I would like to mention that I received SO many entries after the deadline. Sadly, I couldn't count those entries because it wouldn't be fair to everyone else. It makes me so sad to disqualify entries, so maybe the next giveaway, I'll put more emphasis on the deadline (bigger, bolder letters?)

I'm already planning another giveaway soon, so stay tuned for that!

Without further ado, the winner is.. Sweet as Honey Blog! Congrats, and I'll be e-mailing you shortly!

I picked the winner by random using random.org list randomizer and random number generator.


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Friday, September 16, 2011

Revlon Colorburst Lipgloss in #002 Crystal Lilac

Natalie Friday, September 16, 2011 10 Comments
Revlon Crystal Lilac Colorburst Lipgloss

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
A pop of weightless color with vivid, mirror-like shine.

•Micro-crystal formula for 5X the shine of patent leather
•Plush applicator shaped to curves of your lips for smooth, even application of color
•Revlon ColorBurst’s Elasticolor™ technology for rich color with a weightless feel
•Moisturizers and anti-oxidants such as sweet almond oil and vitamin E conditions and improves lip texture
•Available in 15 vibrant, on-trend shades (Revlon)


The shades available are: Crystal Lilac, Pink Ice, Strawberry, Peony, Hot Pink, Orchid, Rosepearl, Rosegold, Bordeaux, Fire, Papaya, Sunset Peach, Gold Dust and Sienna Sparkle.

The shade that stuck out the most to me for every day was Crystal Lilac.

Crystal Lilac is a sheer, bubblegum pink with a fine pink-purple opalescent shimmer/reflects.
READ MORE FOR SWATCHES & A SHORT REVIEW!

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Made from Earth Vitamin Enriched Facial Serum!

Natalie Friday, September 16, 2011 2 Comments
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: This serum contains powerful organic nutrients of DMAE, vitamin A, B, C and E, and alpha lipoic acid along with the wonder oil meadowfoam. Our blended formula counteracts dryness that occurs in aging skin and increases the moisture retention capacity. This will eventually improve your skins elasticity. ProVitiamin B5 stimulates skin regeneration while the organic compound DMAE immediately tightens and firms the skin for a fresh youthful appearance.

INGREDIENTS: Rose Distillate, Aloe Vera Juice, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Organic Bilberry Extract, Organic Sugar Cane Extract, Organic Sugar Maple Extract, Organic Orange Fruit Extract, Organic Lemon Extract, Organic Cranberry Extract, Vitamin E, Vitamin C Ester, CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), Beta Carotene (Pro Vitamin A), Retinol Palmitate (Vitamin A), Alpha Lipoic Acid DL- Thioctic Acid, d-Calcium Pantothenate (Panthenol Vitamin B5), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Carrot Oil, Milk, Tetrasodium EDTA, Polysaccharide gum.


READ MORE FOR MY REVIEW!

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Physician's Formula Powder Palette Healthy Glow Bronzer!

Natalie Wednesday, September 14, 2011 15 Comments
Physician's Formula Healthy Glow Bronzer

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
  • Just the right color combination to enhance skin tone and correct imperfections. 
  • Provides soft, natural color without a harsh monotone cast.
Hypoallergenic. Fragrance-free. Oil-free. Non-comedogenic. Dermatologist approved. 

There are a whopping twelve (12) shades to the Powder Palette series, with an array of translucent and finishing powders, color correcting powders, blushes, bronzers and highlighters.

There are three (3) bronzer shades, Healthy Glow Bronzer, Light Bronzer and Bronzer. Light Bronzer appeared the lightest, and Bronzer appeared the darkest. Originally, I planned to purchase Bronzer, the darkest shade, but upon closer inspection, it looked to similar to some of the bronzers I already own. (Guerlain Brunette #2, maybe?) It definitely appeared to be very terracotta red/brown). I figured Light Bronzer wouldn't show up on my skintone, so I chose Healthy Glow Bronzer.


READ MORE FOR ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AND MY REVIEW!


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Don't forget to enter! Ends tonight at 11:59 PM CST!

Natalie Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3 Comments

Make sure to enter if you haven't already! The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM CST - which is roughly in 5 more hours!

Click HERE to enter!

Thank you to those of you that participated!

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Made from Earth Rosehip + Hibiscus Organic Face Serum!

Natalie Wednesday, September 14, 2011 3 Comments
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
This gentle Rosehip + Hibiscus Face Serum is recommended for sensitive skin. The serum is easily absorbed by the skin. Rose hips are a rich source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and Vitamin C. The serum's ingredients play a primary role in the regeneration process of skin cells and repair of damaged tissues.
Hibiscus extract, with its antioxidant properties, blends perfectly with the Rosehip Oil and provides natural astringent properties. (Made From Earth)

INGREDIENTS:
Organic Aloe Vera Juice, Hibiscus Flower Extract, Rosehip Seed Oil, Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Coconut, Emulsifying Wax, Vitamin E, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE Bitartrate), Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), Vitamin B3, Pro-Vitamin B5, Beta Carotene (Pro Vitamin A), Vitamin C Ester, Polysaccharide Gum, Rosemary, Neem, Tetrasodium EDTA, Citric Acid.


READ MORE FOR MY REVIEW!

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Lusting Gaudy.

Natalie Wednesday, September 14, 2011 18 Comments


Maybe it's just the model, but I think these earrings are pretty darn cool. 

Not sure if I'd wear them.. of course I'd like to, but I don't know if I'd be able to pull them off. Maybe I could paired with a really simple outfit. I think the first pair are calling my name.

http://www.melodyehsani.com/

What do you think? Are you a fan of Melody Ehsani's edgy designs?

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: Physician's Formula Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Pressed Bronzer in Medium to Dark!

Natalie Tuesday, September 13, 2011 16 Comments
Hey Everyone!

I've been asked several times throughout the past couple of years for my thoughts about Physician's Formula Bronzers, and although Physician's Formula is a brand that's widely available to me, I have never actually tried one (Okay, I've tried the Shimmer Strips. Does that count?). Through the years I've known that Physician's Formula specializes in bronzers, but I've always found the large selection a little overwhelming - not knowing which one would be good for me. Also, they are a bit pricey - as they are all priced at over $10, which is on the more expensive end of drugstore bronzers. 

So when I caught a good sale on PF at CVS this past week, I decided to pick up a couple bronzers that had promising reviews. I'll first be reviewing the Bronze Booster, and later on I'll be posting a review for the Powder Palette (Mosaic) Bronzer in Healthy Glow.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
  • This bronzer with benefits provides an instant and lasting tan-boost that blends and builds easily to your desired level of bronze.
  • Lightweight powder glides on smoothly for a totally uniform and even, healthy-looking tan glow.
  • Formulated with Glow Activators, an exclusive infusion of vitamins, moisturizers and antioxidants that provide mistake-proof Triple-Action Bronze Boosting.
Stain-Free, Streak-Free, Orange-Free and Odor-Free.

READ MORE FOR SWATCHES AND MY REVIEW!


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Monday, September 12, 2011

Review: Maybelline Volume Express The Falsies Mascara (and a comparison to The Falsies Flared)

Natalie Monday, September 12, 2011 24 Comments
Maybelline The Falsies Mascara

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: 
• Patented Spoon Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping
• Unique flexible wand helps to lift and separate lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible, fuller lashes, no gaps from any angle
• Contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested
• Washable, also available in Waterproof formula

For Best Results - Hold brush with spoon side upwards against lashes and sweep from root to tip. Repeat until desired look is achieved. Do not let dry between coats. Removes easily with soap and water.

READ MORE FOR ADDITIONAL PHOTOS & MY REVIEW!


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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Storage ideas for your makeup!

Natalie Saturday, September 10, 2011 50 Comments
It's very often that I get asked to post my makeup collection, but the truth is, my current set-up is terrible. I have several Sterilite drawers, as well as additional baskets and bins in all areas of my room. It's all organized, but everything isn't in one place like I'd like it to be. Once I do come up with a good system, I'll definitely be sharing it with you all!

So for now, here are some photos I came across on various blogs, etc for storage ideas! None of the photos (with the exception of one) are my own - but I linked each photo to the source. So if any of the ideas peak your interest, you can click the photo for more info!

I think these acrylic drawers are are really pretty, mostly if you have a lot of department store makeup to showcase and don't have an overwhelming amount of items in each drawer. I'm not a fan of clutter and I hate looking at it - so I'm on the fence about purchasing these, but I still kind of like them. I think sometime in the future I will end up buying some for my go-to products.

This is the same way I store my makeup, and I'm sure it's the same way a lot of us store our makeup - in clear, Sterilite containers. They are easy, affordable and convenient. 


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Quick FOTD.

Natalie Saturday, September 10, 2011 36 Comments
I posted a new picture on my Twitter a couple of days ago, and had a few requests for a FOTD, so here's a quick breakdown of what I was wearing!



Face:
DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisturizing Dew (base)
Hard Candy Glamouflage Concealer in Light mixed with MAC Prolongwear Concealer in NW25 (under my eyes)
Guerlain Parure Extreme Foundation #3 (around a 1/2 pump to even out my complexion)
Chanel Double Perfection Compact (to set my foundation and add a little extra coverage, applied using my Sigma F30 Brush)
Benefit Hoola Bronzer (contour)
Nars Dolce Vita Blush (across cheeks)

Brows:
MAC Espresso Eyeshadow
ELF Brow Treat & Tame in Dark

Eyes:
MAC Rubenesque Paint Pot (base)
Sigma Bare Palette (Command all over the lid, Snoop through the crease)
MAC Brown Down Eyeshadow (outer-V)
Physician's Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner in Ultra-Black
Maybelline The Falsie's Mascara

Lips:
MAC Stripdown Lipliner
NYX Fig Round Lipstick


I'll be posting reviews soon for Maybelline The Falsie's Macara and the Physician's Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner. I'm really loving both products - especially the eyeliner.. it has become a new favorite of mine!

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

NOTD: Chanel Fall 2011 Graphite Nail Polish!

Natalie Thursday, September 8, 2011 23 Comments

Chanel Graphite Nail Colour

Chanel Graphite Nail Colour is from Chanel's Fall Nail Colour release which included three shades in total - Quartz, Peridot and Graphite. I'm sure if you follow several blogs, this nail polish isn't anything new to you. Graphite and Peridot are two shades that have gotten a lot of hype in the blogging world. I contemplated picking up Peridot and Graphite, but ended up only getting Graphite. I'm still kind of 50/50 on whether I want Peridot or not. It's such a unique shade. I'm sure if I look at enough swatches I'll end up convincing myself to get it.

Graphite appears to be a metallic charcoal/silver, but it's so much more complex than that! It has a sheer, charcoal base and is suspended with extra fine silver and gold (they appear much more green to me, but that maybe because when black and gold come into contact, the gold appears green) shimmer. It has a foil/metallic finish and is completely opaque with two coats. I found the formula very easy to work with - It has a great consistency and isn't gritty at all considering it's so shimmery. In dull lighting it appears to be a metallic charcoal silver with a greenish/gold tinge, but when under sunlight and brighter lighting, that's when this gem really glistens. Really accurate swatches of the color in all of it's glory can be found at alllacqueredup.com (HERE). Her photos are simply amazing!

I've had it on my toes for around two weeks and my nails still look perfect! That's totally a first for me because I always manage to botch my pedicures by the two week mark. I hope it has good lasting power on my fingernails as well!

I highly recommend picking this polish up while it's around.. I'm even thinking about purchasing a back up!

Two (2) Coats of Chanel Graphite and One (1) Coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat
Two (2) Coats of Chanel Graphite and One (1) Coat of Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Top Coat

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Giveaway: Sigma Bare Palette! Open Internationally!

Natalie Wednesday, September 7, 2011 225 Comments

RULES TO ENTER:  
  • You must be a follower of my blog. In case some of you don't have Blogger or a Google account, you can also enter by following me on Twitter here or by liking my new Facebook page here. Please let me know in the comments one of the accounts you are following so I can keep track of entries (only if it's not through Blogger).
  • Post a comment about anything at all! What's your most frequently used eyeshadow? What Fall trend are you looking forward to the most to sport? What item is at the top of your makeup wish list right now? Do you have any phobias? If you're not feeling up to it, you can always just put "ENTER ME!" 
THE PRIZE:
  • One Sigma Bare Palette, courtesy of Sigma. You can check out my review here, it has become one of my daily go-to palettes!

TERMS & CONDITIONS:
  •  Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY. Anyone can enter!
  •  Entrants must be at the legal age according to their local laws. If you are under the legal age, you must have permission from a parent or guardian to enter (18 years old in the USA w/ the exception of Alabama and Nebraska, 19; Mississippi, 21)
  • The deadline will be in one week from today; Wednesday, September 14 at 11:59 PM CST
  • There will be one winner, announced within 48 hours of the deadline.
    * The Last Giveaway, there were a couple of entries I had to disqualify because they were either Anonymous or entered after the deadline. Please leave your name if you're posting under "Anonymous" and be sure of the deadline. My deadline is always 11:59 PM Central Standard Time.


    I found this code floating around the web, it's for 10% off your order. It should be valid until Sept. 30th. If you know any other valid codes, let us know in the comments!

    Have a wonderful afternoon! It's only 67 degrees out, and I'm enjoying every bit of it! :)

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    Review: Reviva Labs Seaweed Soap!

    Natalie Wednesday, September 7, 2011 6 Comments
    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION: Instead of animal tallow (sodium tallowate), common to most soaps, we feature a pure vegetable base of palm and coconut oils. Our Seaweed grains' scrub action, which helps remove hidden impurities, has been a family favorite in shower or bath for many years. In Spain, Seaweed Soap is even used as part of one's slimming or anti-cellulite routine. It stimulates circulation and helps discharge toxins. It's a soap both men and women will love. Benefits: 100% vegetable base; added scrub action - great for use in an anti-cellulite program; no animal fats!

    INGREDIENTS: 


    READ MORE FOR ADDITIONAL INFO AND MY REVIEW!


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    Tuesday, September 6, 2011

    Review: Sigma F80 and F05 Brushes!

    Natalie Tuesday, September 6, 2011 0 comment

    I've had my eyes on the Sigma F80 Brush for some time now, especially since I've seen it on numerous blogs and YouTube videos with everyone claiming that it's their favorite foundation brush. So naturally, I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about.

    I went ahead and placed my order for the F80, along with the F05, as by the photos, it seemed like a great sized blush or contour brush.

    Here are the brush descriptions -

    F80 Flat Top Synthetic Kabuki - This exclusive flat top synthetic kabuki was designed to deliver a flawless makeup application. The Sigma Makeup F80 is a buffer brush that can be used to blend powder or liquid products. The short and dense bristles make it easy to buff your liquid foundation. The long handle adds comfort to your makeup application. The synthetic fibers are ideal to be used with liquid products and can be easily cleaned. Made of Synthetic Sigmax HD filament.

    Rated 4.8/5 with a 94% re-purchase rate on makeupalley.com 

    F05 Small Contour Brush - Ideal to apply, blend or contour powder products. Softly rounded dome tip smoothly blends colour into the face. (This brush is supposedly a "dupe" for MAC's ever-popular 109 brush)



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    Check out "GlamLifeGuru" on YouTube!

    Natalie Tuesday, September 6, 2011 9 Comments
    Whenever I come across a blog or YT channel I really like, I always like to share them with all of you because maybe some of you would enjoy them as well!

    I was newly introduced to her blog by a fellow blogger (I'm so sorry, I don't remember who it was) and I've been hooked on her videos ever since! 

    Tatiana of GlamLifeGuru is a gorgeous image consultant/stylist that resides in LA. For fun, she likes to make videos such as fashion/makeup hauls, product reviews and my favorite videos - the weekly drugstore sales! Every week she does separate videos for CVS, Walgreen's and Rite Aid highlighting all of the sales on cosmetics as well as other great buys you can find. She also links in her information bar coupons (if available) on certain products and mentions if there are coupons out in the newspaper/P&G mailers, etc for certain products. SO HELPFUL!

    I love checking my local drugstores for good deals on cosmetics, but I rarely ever check the websites for sales. Tati's videos are incredibly useful and by watching them, I'll know if I should in for a good deal on something I need! Because of her latest CVS video, I was able to snag a Physician's Formula product I've wanted which is normally $10.99 for $3.99. Totally awesome.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/GlamLifeGuru

    She is very well spoken and has an adorable, quirky sense of humor. Her boyfriend (or is it husband? I'm not sure) is the cameraman behind it all and usually says a joke here and there in each video. I've seen in her comments that some people find her bf to be a little over-the-top because he tends to compliment her or is "too" affectionate in her videos - and I understand that some people prefer to watch a certain video to get straight down to the point - some people don't like to hear ramblings, see footage of pets, etc.. but It really doesn't bother me at all. She is SO cute, and I don't blame him at all for saying how pretty she is!! She is providing awesome videos for everyone, free of charge, and she does say she does these videos for fun. I'm sure if she wanted the videos to be more professional, she'd easily be able to do that, but I like how her personality shines through in her videos and she doesn't edit everything out.

    Anyways, hope you like her channel!

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    Review: Maybelline Volume Express Falsies FLARED Mascara!

    Natalie Tuesday, September 6, 2011 26 Comments

    PRODUCT DESCRIPTION:
    • Patented Spoon Curler Brush fans out lashes from corner-to-corner, while our Pro-Keratin formula instantly builds volume without clumping.
    • Unique flexible wand lifts and separates lashes to provide the look of 300% more visible, lashes.
    • Contact lens safe and ophthalmologist-tested.
    • Washable, also available in waterproof formula.

    To be completely honest, I have no idea what the difference between the "flared" version and regular version are. I looked on the Maybelline website and the product description for both were the same. If you do know, please let me know in the comments!

    Some of you may already know, my favorite mascara for the past couple of years has been Covergirl Lash Blast (the regular orange tube - although the purple and red tubes are fine too) But as of lately, I've been a bit bored with the same mascara for such a long time. Recently I picked up a few Maybelline mascaras to test out, and I've been using The Falsies Flared daily for a couple of weeks now.

    First things first, the packaging and wand. The packaging is pretty simple, but I think it's really pretty, especially with the wings design on the cap (I suppose they're supposed to represent long, curled lashes), but it is a much prettier tube to have in my clear cosmetic bag rather than the bulky orange tube of Lash Blast. I personally love the wand. It's not plastic, which is a nice change and is large, fluffy and slightly curved. It makes applying mascara very simple to the top and bottom lashes. **bear in mind that if you have very short or sparse lashes, this wand may give you a bit of trouble as it is pretty large.


    The actual formula of the mascara is quite good too. It does seem to lengthen my lashes (nothing too dramatic though) and it's easy to build volume with continuous strokes of the brush. It is a little bit of a drier formula, so I find that it works best to apply a second coat right away, because if you wait to long, the first coat may be a little too dry, resulting in flaking or clumping. I think this mascara does a great job separating, and I rarely have to use a lash comb to separate any clumps.
    Here are my lashes with two coats of mascara. Looks great!

    Lastly, throughout the day, there are no smudges/transfer below my eyes - which is a total score for me because most mascaras I end up trying will transfer throughout the day. My only complaint about this mascara is that IT FLAKES! It's nothing horrifying, but I do have to check my mirror every few hours because there will for sure be a few little tiny flakes that have landed on my cheeks. Definitely not a mascara you want to take a nap in and then plan on going out afterward, because flake city will be sitting under your eyes. *sigh*

    I can deal with the very mild flaking because I really do like the appearance of this mascara on my lashes, and I will re-purchase if I find it on a sale that's too good to pass up - but I will be exploring my other options. 

    I purchased the regular version of The Falsies, and haven't tried it yet, but I will post a review for it as well (if the formula is any different? As of now, I don't know if it is).

    Have you tried this mascara? What did you think of it?

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    Tiny Hand With Heart