Thursday, February 7, 2013

Gel Nail review

I finally got around to trying Gel Nails almost two weeks ago.  I wanted to give it enough time to decide how I liked it.

To be honest, I'm still on the fence.  I love the fact that it stays put and you don't have to worry about it.  At almost two weeks since I had it done, I have only one chip on my thumb and I've started picking away at where it's grown out from my cuticle area.  And now, I can't stop picking at it.

The pro is that it lasts a while and continues to look great for a week.  It goes downhill from there.  I enjoy painting my nails, and changing it up often, so I think I'm going to do the gel nails only when I have really big meetings or go on vacation when I don't want to bother with nail polish.

It's an awesome idea and really a great product, but it's just not for me.  I'm going to buy some acetone tonight to soak the rest off and go back to painting them a couple of times a week!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


I actually got to go out shopping for a couple of hours all by myself a couple of weeks ago!! It was awesome!  I set out to buy the items I previously mentioned (and a couple more things).  Some make up - and some not.  Thought I'd just put together a haul post.  I waited a little bit to write about my haul as I wanted to have ample time to test and give a true review.

I bought both of the MAC eyeliners I set out to purchase; Buried Treasure and Rich Experience.  I love them both for different occasions.

Rich Experience is a deep brown/black and is exactly what I was looking for.  I'm a pale skinned red head, so black eyeliner tends to look too harsh on me.  I prefer to use black only for evening looks and dark smokey eye looks.  These two eyeliners are perfect for every day looks.  My eyelashes are very blonde, so I wear eyeliner every day to create a base for my lashes.  Buried Treasure is also a very dark brown/black, except is has flecks of gold in it. It's not overly sparkly, but has just enough to create a difference in these two eyeliners.

The formulas of each of these are a little different.  Rich Experience is Pro Longwear which on the MAC website states: Pro Longwear's long-lasting eye liner delivers creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly. 12-hour waterproof formula stays put and smudge-free. Retail price is $19.50 and can be purchased here.  Buried Treasure is Powerpoint which the MAC website states: Waterproof. Longwearing. Metallic, shimmer and matte finishes. Smooth to apply. Won't transfer, smudge, or budge... Draws the line: powers your eyes. Makes its point. Lasts. Retail price is $15.00 and can be purchased here.  I don't find that either of these really last all day.  I think I have super oily lids that defy any product that touts "staying power".  I think if cosmetic companies really want to attempt to test the longevity of an eye product, they should test on me!  

My next purchase at the MAC counter at my local Nordstrom's was unexpected.  I began to swoon over a dark green eyeshadow named Greensmoke. The MAC color description says it's "tarnished olive (lustre)".  It is a deep olive with a dark grey undertone and flecks of gold shimmer.  It goes on a little greener than I thought it would, but I still love it.  It retails for $15.00 and can be purchased here.  I had to get a new MAC sharpener.  Here's a photo of the MAC mini-haul:

Next, I went to Ulta to try a few items that were on another bloggers 2012 Favorites List (and an unexpected purchase - but a bargain!).

Pictured above is the Rimmel Stay Matte Power, Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze and a set of Stila make up brushes.

Rimmel Stay Matte Power is a great setting powder. I am using the color 003 Natural and it's just about perfect.  I have been using Make Up For Ever HD foundation and I really like how my make up looks with these two together.  Since I'm oily, there isn't a make up on the planet that will last me all day.  When I say all day, I mean from when I put my make up on at 7:00 am until I get home at 6:00 pm.  To me, that is all day.  Since mine never lasts that long, I can make it through lunch until about 2:00 before I feel like I need to touch up, so I'm content with that.  I like the way the powder goes on and it doesn't seem to settle into my wrinkles (not that I admit to having any).  The only thing I don't like about this powder is the packaging.  The container doesn't close tightly and since I wag around my make up with me where ever I go, I have a rubber band around it so that it doesn't come apart.  There is also no applicator for this, so you will need to purchase a brush, sponge or puff applicator to use with this powder.

I love the Bad to the Bronze color of Maybelline Color Tattoo.  It's a deep bronze, more on the brown side, but it has great shimmer.  It also has good staying power.  It doesn't seem to settle in the crease of my eyelid, but it does seem to fade a little throughout the day.  Take that with a grain of salt, because I have over-active oil glands.  Overall, great product and I may try another color or two of this shadow.  The only con to this cream shadow is the application.  I don't like using my fingers to apply the shadow.  I know I can use a q-tip, however I'm just not good with those as make up applicators.  Just a personal preference.

The Stila brush set was a great find.  I have been looking for a new foundation brush.  I had an Ulta rewards certificate good for an Ulta professional brush, however they were out of stock.  This particular brush set was on the Christmas clearance table and was only $16.  Yes, that's right, $16!  I was prepared to pay twice that for just a foundation brush, but for the price I thought I'd give this a try.  So far, so good.  No loose bristles (pet peeve of mine with make up brushes).  It came with a foundation brush, concealer brush, powder brush, shadow brush and eyeliner brush.  The bristles of the eyeliner brush are not as tight as I think they should be, but other than that, I am completely please with the purchase.

Next, I went on a quest to find a new bag for work.  Each day, I haul several things to work in my work bag:  make up bag, Filofax, notebook and iPad.  There is occasionally some miscellaneous papers in there as well, but the four items listed above are in the bag daily.  My old work bag was falling apart.  I've carried it daily for almost four years, so it was time for a new one.  The only requisite was that it fit all the the every day items as well as my computer occasionally.  I went to Marshall's first.  They didn't have anything I liked, but I did find a yoga mat on clearance for $7.
I don't do a lot of yoga, but I 'm ready for when I do!  LOL!!

My next stop was Ross, and that's where I found my work bag!
It's more of a teal color than it looks in the picture.  It's structured and holds plenty of stuff.  I originally picked up the black bag with white stitching, but liked the teal bag better.

Then I decided to buy myself something I've wanted for a while.  A pair of Tom's shoes.  I don't know why I have wanted them so badly, probably just because they are for a good cause and are just simple, comfy shoes.  I had a hard time finding my size and what color/style I wanted.  I finally settled with the red ones and I just love them.  They are more comfortable that I thought they were, so again, I'm very happy with my purchase.

That was plenty of damage for one day of shopping!  I would always like to shop more, but that will do!

Hopefully next week, I will review a teeth whitening treatment.  I have an appointment with a spa to do 40 minute LED teeth whitening.  It was a Groupon for three 40-minute sessions. I can't wait to see how awesome it is (fingers crossed!!).

Much Love!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lost and Found!

Ok, it's been a super-duper long time since I blogged, and I miss it.  So, I'm back (not that anyone ever reads this blog - it's just fun for me).

To catch up - we finally moved and are pretty much settled in our new home and new neighborhood.  We build our new home from the ground up and it was a long process.  The good news is that it's done, we are moved in and life is returning to normal - and we love it! 

On to beauty news!

I'm heading out today to re-purchase an eyeliner that I have worn for a couple of years.  It's MAC PowerPoint liner in Buried Treasure.  It's a super dark brown with tiny little flakes of gold.  Black eyeliner tends to look too dark on me for daytime wear, and this is just perfect.  I'm also going to consider MAC Pro Longwear Eye Liner in Rich Experience.  I saw it reviewed on (a beauty blogger I read often) - check out her review here.   It is also a very dark brown eye liner, but has no gold or shimmer.  I'm so oily on my face that I need these long wearing eyeliners just to get me to the afternoon (I typically have to reapply my make-up after lunch).

I'm also planning to purchase a few things that Kristina reviewed on her blog - PrettyShinySparkly (another blog I love to read/view).  She did a great Best of 2012 product review here so be sure to check it out. There were a few things on her review that I plan to try for myself - Maybelline Color Tattoo, Revlon Color Ready Concealer, and Rimmel Stay Matte powder.  Excited to try those (especially if I get an Ulta coupon in the paper this weekend).  I'm excited to try the Maybelline Color Tattoo, as eye color and liner tend to slide off me).

I'm realizing that I need more anti-aging products in my daily skin care routine.  The first step was to get a new skin care routine.  My skin had a very rough year.  It began to revolt against products that I've been using for some time.  I was getting a LOT of breakouts and my once always oily skin started to have dry patches.  I'll always be on the hunt for great skincare products!  Right now, I am using Mary Kay's Timewise products.  I needed to test my skins reaction to anti-aging and extra moisture. I had gotten out of the habit of using moisturizer (especially during summer months).  I'm wondering if that is the reason for my skins revolt!  I'm sure that the stress of building a house and moving had a lot to do with it as well.

I'm still a Birchbox subscriber.  I enjoy it a lot.  I haven't used much in the last couple of boxes, since I've been moving and such, but I'll try to review the January box when it arrives (got the notice that it shipped last this week, so it should be next week).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

April Birchbox

I anxiously await the arrival of each Birchbox!!  I wait for the email and stalk the site and my mailbox until it's arrival. I had already seen some online reviews and a couple of bloggers were disappointed with their selections.  I was not one of the disappointed ones!  I'm very happy with my selections.

I love the idea of natural and organic products.  I don't know that I have every gravitated toward a natural product versus an unnatural product, but I like the idea.  Let's review the items in the box:
Pictured here are one Juice Beauty Oil Free Moisturizer.  The BB card says "Feed your skin with this standout hydrator, which is made with an organic fruit-based formula that won't clog pores.  The card that comes with the sample tube says it is Blemish Clearing.  I plan to give it a try during my next breakout to see if it really is clearing.

The next item is very interesting.  It's a WEI Black Soy instant lifting face treatment pad.  The package says it is skin firming.  I'm looking forward to trying this after the kiddo and the dogs go to bed so that I don't frighten anyone.

I got my first perfume sample.  It's Yogini by Harvey Prince.  I was pleasantly surprised by the scent.  It's fresh and clean but still smells like perfume.  I was expecting a fresh cotton type smell, but was pleasantly surprised.  This sample spray is going in my purse for sure.

I love the Zoya polish sample.  The color is called Bevin and it's a beautiful pale green color from the True Spring Collection.  I just did my nails, but I plan to try this beauty out real soon!

My beauty extra is a MicrodermaMitt face mitt.  The description says "This all-natural silk mitt gently exfoliates away dead skin cells and pore-clogging debris.  I'll be using this one tonight.

Overall, I'm very pleased with my Natural Wonders April Birchbox.  I'm looking forward to trying each of the products and writing reviews on the Birchbox website.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

March Favorites.....better late than never!

Late March/early April has been very hectic, so I'll jump right back in.  

I only have two favorites for March.  First, I received in my March Birchbox.  
One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm.  I use this balm on my cuticles and elbows and feet.  I love that it is absorbed easily and the citrus scent is a nice treat as well.  The full size jar of this wonder-balm is $65, but I think it would be worth it!  I would love if they would also sell the sample size so that I could keep some in my purse.  Love this product!!  Can be purchased at

My other March love:
Korres Pomegranate Grenade make up removing wipes.  I have expressed my love for my Clarisonic Mia order to keep the bristles on my Mia from getting dingy and gross, I take my make up off first with these miracle wipes!  Even though I am oily, these wipes are not too drying on my skin.  I take off the bulk of my eye make up and then wipe off my foundation, blush, and the rest of my eye make up with these wipes and they do no burn my eyes either.  Love them.  These can be purchased at Ulta.

I should get my April Birchbox next week, so maybe I'll have a new favorite in there!

Much Love,

Monday, March 19, 2012

Birchbox finally arrived!!

I was so excited to see the pink Birchbox in my mail box today!  I got an email with tracking information and track it I did!  I was mailed on March 9th.  It was supposed to arrive on the 13th, however it took a detour in Iowa after it made a brief stop in Dallas.  I called Customer Service on Friday, March 16.  They were very nice and offered to send a replacement box if it didn't arrive by today.  I was very happy with their customer service.

On to the box.

There are many things in here that I can't wait to try.  For now, I'll give the Birchbox description, then my first impression.  Once I have an opportunity to use each product, I'll review them.  What fun this is going to be!!
I believe that Birchbox does more several different boxes each month, I got the Spring Training box.

The above is a picture of how it was packaged.  Love their attention to detail.

On to the contents:
Miss Jessie's Original Quick Curls.  BB says - Tame temperamental curls with this anti-frizz cream: just run it through damp hair to beat back frizz.  I don't wear my hair curly very often, I blow it straight.  I'm not sure when I would use this product again.  But I will add that I love their packaging.  I am such a sucker for packaging.

I Coloniali Invigorating Tibetan Shower Cream with Rhubarb.  BB says - This Italian brand's rich shower gel is made with rare eastern rhubarb to revitalize your skin.  The packaging is awesome!  It's in a metal tin with a cardboard outer wrapping and a very generous 3.3 oz package.  It smells wonderful and can't wait to try it.

Color Club Nail Lacquer in Jackie Oh!  BB says - Brighten blah fingers and toes with this on-trend pink polish.  I have lots of pink polishes.  It's a great color I'll see how I like it.

One Love Organics Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm.  BB says - This all-natural two-in-one cleanser and moisturizer is completely free of fillers, which mean sit's extra concentrated and extra effective.  I did try a little bit of the balm, and it is very moisturizing.  I applied it to my cuticles and it did a nice job.  I'll talk more when I find other uses for this little gem.

WEI Pomegranate Buffing Beads.  BB says - Each of these perfectly portioned packets has enough powdered exfoliant to create a gentle, antioxidant-packed scrub.  Just add water!  I love a good scrub, so I can't wait to try this.  Again, I adore the packaging.  There are two small packets and they are in a cardboard envelope together.

Lifestyle Extra - I Coloniali Deep Massage Body Cream with Myrrh.  BB says - Go ahead and redeem those unclaimed back-rubs:  this delicious massage cream leaves skin smooth and supple.  I've never tried anything like this, so I'll have to write about this later. It's in a package that is clued to the inside of the above cardboard package.

I am super happy with my box.  I wasn't really sure what to expect.  I had seen a few boxes on other blogs, but I think my box is the best!  Now I can't wait until the April boxes come out!

Much Love!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

February Favorites & Reviews

I'm a little late with this, so I'll jump right in.
ht the
By far, my favorite purchase for the month is my Clarisonic Mia 2.  I love the way my skin feels and looks after a couple of weeks of use.  I use it morning and night and couldn't be happier.  I have also noticed that I am less oily than normal.  The true test is coming in the summer months when I produce more oil in my t-zone than some off-shore oil rigs!

My second favorite for the month is the Make Up For Ever HD foundation and powder.  I bought it a couple of weeks ago at Sephora and the color chosen for me (by the sales associate) #120 Soft Sand.  I bought the kit for $79 which included the Microfinish Powder, application brush and High Definition Primer.  I was unsure about switching to a liquid foundation from my all time favorite MAC Studio Fix.  I am impressed with the coverage and the look of my skin with the HD foundation.  My face also photographs much better in this foundation.  I do have to reapply in the middle of the day, but that isn't unusual at all for me.  I've given the primer a shot but I don't think it's that great.  I'm going to try it with my Smashbox Antishine to see if there is a difference.

Much Love!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Clarisonic & Birchbox!

What an exciting week!!  So much to talk about!  Valentines Day, my birthday, AND I finally got a Clarisonic Mia 2 AND the wait is finally over for me at Birchbox!

Let's talk about the Clarisonic Mia 2 (I'll try to post pics).  I looked at the regular Clarisonic Mia and the Mia 2.  I decided to go with the Mia 2 for two reasons:  First, I liked the dual speeds.  For my really oily skin and large pores, I wanted to be able to concentrate more on those areas at a higher speed.  Secondly, the protective travel case that comes with the Mia 2.  Sure, I could just travel with it in it's own bag or with my other cosmetics, but I really like the extra protection the case provides. 

I picked it up my Clarisonic Mia 3 in pink at ULTA on Wednesday evening. I came straight home to plug it in to charge enough to use it right away.  The first use, I was a little sloppy with it.  I used too much water and too much facial cleanser.  There was water everywhere!  It even got in my eyes!  I should have known better, but oh well.  I have used it Wednesday evening, Thursday morning and evening and this morning.  I can honestly say that already, my pores on my nose look cleaner and smaller.  The pores on my cheeks and chin are cleaner and smaller as well - but for me, my nose area is the most noticeable.  On Wednesday, I awoke to a large cyst-like zit coming up on my chin.  I went over that area with the Clarisonic each day, and today,  it is almost gone (without breaking the skin).  I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but I'm going to say no!  It's probably a little of the magic of the Clarisonic. To say that I love the Clarisonic Mia 2 is an understatement!  Clarisonic has a steep price tag, at $119 for the Mia, $149 for the Mia 2, $195 for the standard size and $225 for the one one with the body brush head.  Either way you go, it's a great investment  for your skin!!  (as a side note:  I've read a couple of reviews about the Clarisonic Mia actually reducing the look of wrinkles - so I'm going to be on the lookout for that - especially on my forehead as those wrinkles are starting to bother me a lot).

Clarisonic recommends that you change out the brush heads every three months or so.  I'm not certain if this is with daily use or with a couple of times a week, but I'll need to gauge that as I go.  So far, I am very happy with the product!  (I also have the Sonicare toothbrush - made by the same company - and I love that too!  My teeth feel great all the time - recommend that highly as well!).

On to other good news this week - my Birchbox wait is over!!  I got the wonderful news via email on Wednesday, and I signed up almost immediately.  My first box will probably be in March.  I haven't decided if I'm going to do a video review, or just write reviews.  I'm not all that technically savvy, but I'm willing to give it a try.  I can't wait to get my first box!

I have ventured away from my MAC Studio Fix foundation and I bought Make Up For Ever HD Foundation.  I was almost out, so I wanted to branch out a little bit and try something new.  I bought the starter kit (very pricey at $79) but it included the setting powder, brush and primer.  Today is my first day wearing it, so I'm not going to write a review just yet.  I'm going to give it a week or two of daily use to write an effective review of the product.

That's all for now!
Much Love!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Spa Night!!

So, last night, I splurged on myself and get a facial, mani & pedi at the day spa by my house.  I really shouldn't wait that long to do that for myself.  Especially since my skin is so oily.  The facial was oh so awesome.  It was relaxing.  She started with a face massage, with some steam.  She then used a Clarisonic brush on my face, neck and upper part of my chest.  I wasn't really sure about that, but she said that for a lot of women, we remember to wash our face, but forget about our neck and chest....which is really where the face begins.  From there, she massaged my shoulders, upper back, heck and head.  It was such a relaxing experience and good for my skin.  I need do this more often for sure!!!

I also spoke to her about a Clarisonic for home use.  She highly recommended it and she reinforced what I had kind of already decided.  I was going to get one anyway.  They sold them at the salon, but I didn't buy it there.  I'm going to go to Ulta or Sephora for it - that way I'll get points for it.  The new Clarisonic Mia 2 is $149 and it also has a travel case.  I can't wait to get it and use it regularly.  I'm super excited to see an improvement in my skin.

The Dermalogica Clearing Mattifier was also recommended by the lovely lady doing my facial.  Again, they sold it at the salon, but I get points at Ulta and Sephora, so I'll buy it there.  I really want a sample that I can try for a couple of days first.  That stuff is $42, I don't want to spend that kind of money on something that may not work.  Looks like a stop in the make up store is in the plans for today!

I'll update when I get samples or my Clarisonic!

Much Love!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I love shiny lips....lip gloss!!  I like many types of lip glosses - most of which are various ones from MAC - various colors and types of their Lip Glass.  I've tried several different brands.  One that I enjoy - mostly during the winter months - is C.O. Bigelow Mentha Supreme 2x.
I can't explain why - but I only like minty flavored gloss during the winter months.  I have no explanation why I enjoy it this way, but I do.  The label mentions that it "freshens breath"....I don't find that it does this at all, but I do like the tingly and minty feeling on my lips during the winter months.  I'll try this gloss in the warmer months as well to see if I like it.

On other news, I'm still on the waiting list for Birchbox, and it's making me crazy.  I really want it to be my turn!  There are other monthly subscription beauty services, but they haven't had as many good reviews.  Crossing my fingers for my number to be up soon!