Monday, December 8, 2014

Loves & Lemons | November 2014


Hi beauties!  So I know it's basically Christmas Eve but there were just too many goodies I loved in November I wanted to share, even though the post is a little late!  Without further adieu...

Makeup Revolution Redemption Palette Iconic 3: This palette truly has been a redemption for me.  You guys know I returned my Urban Decay Naked 3 palette shortly after purchasing it because I felt half the shades were well below UD's phenomenal standard.  After Naked 3 launched into superstardom, I began to think maybe I had a bad batch originally but I've never been keen on shelling out the money to try it again.  I know some people feel strongly about "knock off" makeup, but for me, the Makeup Revolution Iconic 3 is the better palette!  All of the shadows are buttery, soft, and stunningly pigmented.  The design is also more to my liking as it's streamlined and takes up less room.  I ended up taking this beauty on my trip to Arizona and it held up great during rigorous bag shuffling into overhead compartments and lots of trunk travel on the open road.  I plan to do a full review with swatches so you can see how gorgeous this palette is, but let me just break the most amazing news: It only cost £4.00!  ($6.26 USD/$7.18 CAD)
Bliss Fabulous Foaming Face Wash: I love this!  It cleanses and exfoliates and leaves my skin fresh without feeling tight or dry.  I loved being able to try the smaller 2 oz size for $9.00 to see how my skin reacted before committing to the $24.00 6.7 oz bottle.
Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Shampoo: I've always heard raves about Moroccanoil products and have wanted to try something from the line.  I visited a salon here in Atlanta after my blonde ambition tour earlier this summer and the stylist finished off my hair with Moroccanoil Treatment.  I could not believe how fantastic my hair looked!  The Moisture Repair Shampoo is another stellar product from Moroccanoil.  It leaves my scalp balanced and my hair shiny without being weighed down or prone to oiliness.  Oh, and it smells AMAZZZZZZZING.
I could not have gotten through November without these little tubes o' bliss.  Both the Suvana Organic Paw Paw & Honey Balm (a recommendation from the lovely Taylor of My Lucite Dreams) and the Papaya Gold Paw Paw Moisturizing Balm were the biggest help to me during my month-long battle with chapped skin.  For the uninitiated, "paw paw" is another word for papaya, and paw paw ointment has been around since the turn of the century.  It's far more popular in Australia, but I think once word spreads of it's incredible soothing powers, it will be everywhere!  Paw Paw will be the new "BB Cream"! ;)  A lavishly thick and rich balm, this is a fantastic salve for dry, chapped, or cut skin.  If you suffer from any of these ailments, both of these ointments are incredible!
Rounding out my month-long balm obsession is the balm dotcom by Glossier.  This is my absolute FAVE.  After falling hard for Bite's Agave Lip Mask, I've been searching for a more budget-friendly lip balm option and this $12.00 tube is IT.  The balm dotcom is 100% scent and taste-free and stays put overnight, leaving my lips very hydrated and soft the next morning.  I've been using this balm during the day, too, instead of lipstick.  I LOVE IT.  HG.  Number 1.  FIVE STARS!  Last but not least, the Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation has just been perfection!  It makes my skin look WAY better than it really is and allows me to skip concealer if I'm short on time.  Full review here.

The sole lemon of the month was the LE Bobbi Brown Mini Eye Palette.  The palette design is fantastic; it's smaller than a drugstore eye quad and would be perfect for travel.  The downside?  The shadows are dry, powdery, and incredibly sheer.  I even tried applying the shades wet (over a shadow primer) and they were still barely visible.  Huge disappointment.  I returned mine.  Save your $35!
So that's it for November!  Can you guys believe Christmas is only 17 days away?!  WOW!

What product were you reaching for all November long?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

EMPTIES! #4 | Fall 2014


Happy Sunday!  It's hard to believe it's nearly Thanksgiving here in the US!  Where has the year gone?  What's also hard to believe is the sheer volume of stuff I've used up this fall.  My empties bag overfloweth!  Here's what I've finished since my last empties post in August!

// HAIR //
1. The Body Shop Banana Shampoo and Conditioner: The shampoo was nice but basic, and I didn't find the conditioner hydrating enough for my fine, tangly hair. Would I repurchase? No.
2. Bumble and bumble Creme de Coco Tropical-Riche Shampoo: One of my favorite shampoos!  Smells lovely and makes my hair feel so healthy. Would I repurchase? Yes.
3. Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil: "Featherlight" is the perfect description for this incredible hair oil that makes my hair look shampoo commercial shiny without making it feel oily and weighed down.  A super helper if you have color damaged ends! Would I repurchase? Yes, I purchased the .85 oz size!
4. Garnier Fructis Damage Eraser Strength Reconstructing Butter: Nothing but love for this pot o' conditioning magic that somehow manages to deeply hydrate and de-tangle without making my hair oily. Would I repurchase? Yes. I cannot wait to finish my current conditioner so I can buy another pot of this!
5. Wen Cleansing Conditioner in Cucumber Aloe: I love this as a weekly treat; nothing makes my hair feel like this!  It turns it into complete SILK.  I do want to find one without mint, though, because I'm just not a huge fan of the ice cold scalp feeling. Would I repurchase? Yes.

// BODY //

6. Bath & Body Works Fall Cranberry Harvest Gentle Foaming Hand Soap: [I know this belongs in the Hand & Nail category; I had a photography fail whale here.]  Such a lovely cranberry scent that screams Fall!  Jason and I decided we're bigger fans of non-foaming soaps, though, because this type of soap does the lathering work for you and it doesn't feel like you're getting a deep clean.  Would I repurchase? Not the self-foaming kind, but yes to their regular Anti-Bacterial soaps.
7. The Body Shop Honeymania Body Butter: I remember being intrigued by this line after reading Tracy at Beauty Reflections' review here. I bought one of the adorable honeycomb glycerin soaps and it was love.  The body butter is amazing and smells so fresh and light!  Usually honey scents are heady and overly sweet, but this one isn't.  Would I repurchase? Yes!
8. Chloé Eau de Parfum: I love this fresh floral!  I'm so proud of myself for finishing a perfume!  I feel like this empty deserve a medal. ;)  Would I repurchase? Yes.
9. Degree Invisible Solid Shower Clean Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant: I'm a big fan of Degree's Invisible Solid line.  They keep me dry and smelling great no matter how hot and humid the weather may get without resulting in that awful "plugged up sweat glands" feel I've experienced with several clinical strength-style AP's.  It also does not transfer onto clothes.  Would I repurchase? Yes, already working on my next stick!
10. Soap & Glory The Righteous Butter: You guys know I have a major soft spot for this product.  It smells CRAZY GOOD and hydrates beautifully.  This stuff has helped get me through the past few fall/winter seasons!  Would I repurchase? Yes, I just bought The Righteous Butter Body Lotion yesterday at Sephora!

// HAND & NAILS //
11. CVS Brand 100% Pure Acetone: I have no issues with acetone for polish removal, so this bottle is my go-to.  You can't beat the price!  Since falling in love with the CVS Remover with Built-In Brush, I've been using the bottle of Pure Acetone to change out the acetone in the remover pot when it needs it.  Would I repurchase? Yes, already have!
12. Orly Bonder Rubberized Base Coat: This has been my go-to base coat for years.  The rubberized finish causes the polish I layer over it to adhere and last longer than it would on a regular base coat.  Would I repurchase? Yes, already have!
13. Revlon Quick Dry Top Coat: This is my HG top coat.  Smooth, glassy shine and minimal dry time.  Bingo!  Would I repurchase? Yes, already have!
14. Southern Hospitality Sunday's Best Foot Creme: This is just loveliness in a pot.  It smells so fresh and clean, and the thickness of this (similar in consistency to L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, slightly thicker than Nivea Cream) delivers maximum hydration.  I used it for my hands and feet and looked forward to applying it at night! Would I repurchase? Yes!
15. Weleda Skin Food: I didn't love the scent at first, but it grew on me.  I applied this every night in bed as my overnight hand cream and my skin felt wonderful the next morning.  As far as the smell, which is earthy and herbal, Jason hated it, then liked it, then hated it again and cheered when I told him I'd finished the tube!  Would I repurchase? Unsure.

// FACE & LIPS //
16. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask: Nothing works better for me than this.  My lips feel like a newborn baby's!  Would I repurchase? Yes, already halfway done with tube #2.
17. Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser: I really liked this.  It was gentle enough not to cause irritation but had enough grit to exfoliate my skin and leave it feeling smooth and healthy.  Would I repurchase? Yes.
18. Formula 10.0.6 Overnight Success Spot Minimizing Patches: These patches are BOSS!  Once your zit is done exploding (too graphic??), apply one of these clear patches over it and go to bed.  Wake up the next day with less swelling and redness.  I swear these heal blemishes faster than anything else.  Would I repurchase? Yes, though I still have 2 sheets to finish before I need to buy more.  The box comes with 3 sheets of 21 patches.
19. Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil: I loved this.  {Full review here.}  Would I repurchase? Yes.
20. Lumene Radiant Touch Refreshing Foam Cleanser: This is a gentle yet effective, fresh citrus-scented cleanser that doesn't leave your skin aching for moisture.  Would I repurchase? Yes.
21. Lush Bubblegum Lip Scrub: My HG lip scrub!  {Full review here.}  Would I repurchase? Yes, already have!
22. Nugg Soothing Face Mask: This didn't do much for me.  It felt like hair conditioner and the single-use pod contained enough product for 2-3 masks with no way to feasibly re-seal it.  Would I repurchase? No.

// MAKEUP //
23. Urban Decay Primer Potion in Sin: This was literally my first tube of eyeshadow primer and I loved it!  It was time to toss it though since it's way past it's use by date and the formula doesn't perform like it used to.  Would I repurchase? Yes, but I'd buy the original (clear) version.
24. Maybelline Volum Express The Colossal Cat Eyes: Not a fan.  The curved natural brush is very skinny -- which I usually love for reaching the roots, but this one didn't do much for my lashes. Would I repurchase? No.
25. MAC Extended Play Lash: A great straight natural skinny brush that reaches the roots and adds length to the lashes.  I do think the price is a bit high at $17.00 USD.  Best drugstore dupe for this is Maybelline Lash Discovery; they are nearly the same thing but the MAC brush is a bit longer.  Would I repurchase? No, but only because I'm all about that volume now!
26. Diorshow Waterproof Mascara: This was my wedding day splurge mascara!  I never wear waterproof formulas because I hate removing them but for the day I got married, waterproof was essential!  Although ironically I didn't even end up crying!  #NoCryingBOSS  Anywho, this moker gives mega volume and the large natural bristled brush wasn't so huge that I bumped it against my lid.  Would I repurchase? Maybe. I have no issues with it, I'd probably just opt for something cheaper from the drugstore.  
27. L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara: New favorite mascara!  The cone-shaped non-rubberized brush grabs every lash and whips up volume and length.  Thank you to one of my favorite Aussie beauty bloggers, Vita from Making Up 4 My Age, for putting me over the edge on whether or not I should try this! Would I repurchase? Yes, already have!
28. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in I See Blue (LE): While Maybelline offers a Royal Blue Great Lash in their permanent line that I've bought numerous times since discovering it in high school, this limited edition color looked even brighter.  I do enjoy a colored mascara for a pop of something different from time to time.  The wand was perfect for defining my bottom lashes!  Would I repurchase? This was LE, but I'd repurchase the Royal Blue from the permanent line.
What did you finish this Fall?  Any new HG's?  Share!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Review! | Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation


I've recently met a foundation that makes me want to shout about it's WONDERful-ness from the rooftops!  That foundation, my friends, can be found at drugstores and will cost you about $10.00 bucks USD.  It's the Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation!
This foundation is an extremely weightless medium coverage option that is virtually undetectable on the skin.  The texture feels like a dry oil, and it blends into the skin with the greatest of ease.  Part of my life-long makeup routine is finishing my face with a setting powder to keep the oilies at bay, but I've often skipped that step when I've used the Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation.  This product dries very quickly to a natural, skin-like finish that looks like you-but-improved.  After watching a few vlogger reviews, I nearly skipped trying this because a few people said it tended to break up after a few hours on oily skin.  I am beyond happy I was intrigued enough to take a chance because this is one of my favorite foundations - period.  Not just "favorite drugstore foundation".  This outperforms numerous high-end bases I've tried.  I have a t-zone so slippery you can fry chicken on it, and this foundation has never cracked, creased, or broken up on my face.
The first rule of Fluid-Touch Foundation?  Shake it like a polaroid picture!  Then, using the handy dandy dropper, I swipe 2-3 pulls of product onto the back of my hand and apply it to my face using a wet Beauty Blender or a Real Techniques Expert Face Brush.  I get a bit more coverage with the brush, but for me, this foundation really sings with the Beauty Blender!

No foundation / Beauty Blending Fluid-Touch onto the skin
Left side: no foundation, right side: Fluid-Touch / Full face of Fluid-touch
Bottom 4 pictures are 3 fully made-up pics of the Fluid-Touch and then the bottle itself.
I've been using this foundation since the end of August, so it's been tested through extremely hot, humid weather, as well as chilly, dry temps, and it holds it's own on both ends of the spectrum.  I didn't take it with me on my trip out west simply because of the glass bottle packaging (I didn't want any post-flight surprise suitcase disasters), but I missed it.  I was so excited to use it again when I got back home!  I absolutely love the way it makes my skin look.  It makes me look like I've used a smoothing filter when I haven't!

Sidenote: I do not know why the pictures above look SO blurry and smoothed.  They have not been edited in any way.  I suspect it's my iPhone front-facing camera.  I used the rear-facing camera for 2 of the bottom ones, which I'm sure you can tell since they aren't all "soft focus" looking.  I'm having camera issues lately (my regular camera is just not very good but buying a new one is extremely expensive and out of the question right now) so I have to rely on the iPhone.  I'm sorry these pictures aren't up to snuff.

Various #FOTD pics from my Instagram of me wearing the Fluid-Touch
The Maybelline Dream Wonder Fluid-Touch Foundation is definitely one of my favorite finds of the year!

Have you tried this foundation?  Name one of your favorite finds of 2014!

Guest post at Swatch and Review! | L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner Pencils


Good morning, lovelies!  The wonderful Julie of Swatch and Review asked me to do a guest post on her blog while she's in Australia.  I did a full review with swatches and EOTD looks on the fan-flippin'-tastic L'Oreal Infallible Silkissime Eyeliner Pencils.  Please check out my post on Swatch and Review here!

Big thanks to Julie for the awesome opportunity to guest post!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Loves & Lemons | October 2014


Bust out your pumpkin pants, people!  It's ROCKTOBER LOVES & LEMONS TIME!

LORAC Mega Pro Palette: I know, I know - I shouldn't include LE items but DAMN PEOPLE.  This palette is THE JAM!!  It's got freaking everything: colors!  neutrals!  mattes!  shimmers!  satins!  Every shadow is buttery, creamy goodness.  If you happen to see it pop up for sale on Amazon, GET IT!  After LORAC released it on their site and it sold out right away, they announced on Instagram that they would not be restocking the palette but that Amazon would be receiving 1 additional shipment.  People RIOTED.  I sincerely hope LORAC will produce more of these based on the thousands and thousands of responses from people who weren't lucky enough to snag one.  Fingers crossed, because this palette is 100% amazing and needs to be restocked, or even made permanent.

Blistex Lip Medex: Though I've seen this little blue pot at the drugstore for years, I never thought much of it until I recently needed something to soothe and heal my blisteringly dry lips.  It has been WUNDERBAR!  It contains a triumvirate of external analgesics (I know you're laughing): camphor, menthol and phenol, so it feels cool on the lips when first applied and dissipates softly as your wear it.  I had peeling and cracking going on and my lips were completely smooth and healed after 1 day of using this.  I've actually been using the Blistex Lip Medex instead of my beloved Bite Agave Lip Mask at night!  o_O  Y'all know it's serious.

Bumble & bumble Hairdresser's Invisible Oil: YAS!  I received a sample tube of this as a GWP and bought the small bottle shortly thereafter.  I have a dry scalp and oily, fine hair.  I've never found a hair oil before this one that didn't weigh down my hair or make it extremely greasy.  The B & b is bomb.  My hair looks shiny, healthy, and retains it's bounce as this oil is light as air.  It also doesn't lead to my hair looking like it hasn't been washed since 1997.  A true win!
CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in #190 Wine To Five: This gorgeous burgundy/plum hybrid cream held up to 2 days of moving wear and tear (ripping into boxes, slashing tape with razors, etc.) without a single chip, and the color makes my heart sing!  

Maybelline Color Sensational Lip Liner in #45 Plum: This lip liner though.  It's stiff, almost to the point where you think the tip has hardened into solid plastic, and drrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaagggggggggs your lips without depositing more than a mere suggestion of pigment.  It was actually painful to use.  I sharpened it, thinking maybe that would revive it, but the results were exactly the same.  Maybe the one I got was just incredibly old??  Usually Maybelline brings the noise and the funk, but this liner was a huge miss.

Bath & Body Works A Thousand Wishes Preview Eau de Parfum: Have you ever stumbled out of an elevator, gasping for air, eyes watering, because the person you were riding with was rocking a musky oriental perfume that wouldn't QUIT?  That's exactly what this smells like to me!  I ordered this from the B&BW website after reading the scent notes and swooning (Top Notes: Sparkling Champagne, Twinkling Star Fruit, Golden Quince, Mid Notes: Crystal Peonies, Purple Freesia, Dry Notes: Gilded Amber, Almond Crème, Sugared Sandalwood, Velvet Musk), so it's my fault for buying a fragrance without smelling it first.  All I can detect from this incredible list of yummy scents is the amber and musk, and LOTS OF IT.

L.A. Colors 28-Color Eyeshadow Palette in Barely There: I'm not going to shout injustice from the rooftops about something I only shelled out $3 bucks for, but this palette was not good.  I thought it could make a great travel companion with so many color options and being so inexpensive (I.E. easy to replace should something happen to it during airline transport) but the shadows are, as the name says, Barely There.  The (packed on) swatches below are over NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base.  Save your $3 bucks for a Wet N' Wild lipstick and a roll of Lifesavers!

What were your loves and lemons last month?