Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Cynthia Rowley Beauty ~ Spring Collection ~ Eye of the Day!!

Last month I received the Cynthia Rowley Beauty Spring Collection as a prize in a Birchbox Birchbloggers Twitter contest. Here is the original post: Birchbox ~ Cynthia Rowley Beauty Spring Collection ~ Full Review + Pictures

Today I am doing an eye of the day/ face of the day using this collection.

I am so excited to be able to try all these products! The eyeliners are my favorite!!

I did prime my eyes with the Milani Eyeshadow Primer in Nude (this may be the only color choice available from Milani). Then I used Marshmallow all over the lid, even up to the brow bone as my base and highlight color. I used Cotton Candy, a lovely purple/ lavender color in the crease and outer corner. To get some depth and definition for the look, I used Licorice. These shadows are soft and easily blend-able.

For eyeliners, I used Charcoal on the upper lashes and Silver on the inner corner of the eye. The Silver helps to open up the eye and gives a brightening effect. These eyeliners are super creamy and glide on with no pulling. They can be smudged out if you'd like, but stay put once they set.

I also went back to the Licorice and Cotton Candy shadows to line the lower lash line. It just helps to bring the whole look together.

For my lips today, I used the Creamy Lip Stain in Sugar - a soft, creamy pink. I'm in love with the lip stains as well. They are moisturizing and not at all drying.

I could not be happier with this collection. Let me know what you think of it!

You can see the application from beginning to finish here:

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Store Brand vs. Name Brand ~ Makeup Wipes

So, for quite a while now, I have been using makeup wipes. I use them every morning to clean my face, before working out, and sometimes again before bed (if I haven't just taken a shower). They are invaluable to me.

First, I tried the Pond's Evening Soothe. I found them to work really well and have a nice soothing scent. I paid about $5 for a pack of 30 towelettes.

Second, I tried the Neutrogena brand. These I liked even more. I paid the same amount as I did for the Pond's, but there were only 25 towelettes in this pack.

Eventually, I went back to the Pond's, this time switching between the Original Fresh scent and the Evening Soothe. The first thing I noticed is that they seemed less moist as they had when I first purchased this brand. I felt as though they were pulling harder on my skin and weren't as effective at getting all the makeup off. I would have to use more than one towelette to do the job one wipe had previously done.

Finally, I decided to try the Target Up and Up brand wipes. These are now, by far, my favorite! They cost less than $4 for 30 towelettes. They have a lot of wetness (or moisture) to them and one wipe can get all the makeup and eye makeup off without pulling my skin.

Sometimes name brand is better quality than store brand (in my opinion), but as far as these wipes go, I'll stick with the cheaper version from now on.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a favorite brand of makeup remover wipes? 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Birchbox July 2014 ~ Review

What is Birchbox? A beauty, grooming, and lifestyle monthly subscription service for men and women. Click here to find out exactly what that means.

Here's what I got for July 2014 and what I think of each item (so far):

Number 4™ Super Comb Prep & Protect - I like this. I could always use more heat protecting sprays! It has a nice scent, not too much like a salon and made my hair feel very soft. It kept my hair smooth all day (even in the humidity) so that's a big plus for me. Full Size - $32

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Lube Pencil - I got the color Menatour (purple) which is way out of my comfort zone! But I'm all about trying new things these days. So I'm embracing it! It is sheer, but with this color I still go very light when applying - it's so bright! This is moisturizing and lasts quite a while. It's a twist up type of pencil. There is a slight mint smell to it, but I personally don't mind that. On birchbox.com, there are 3 colors to choose from: Menatour, Stranger Danger (Hot Pink), and The Boss Lady (Nude). Full Size $18

RUFFIAN Nail Lacquer - Rosary - I am so in love with this color! Rose Gold!! In certain light it looks bronze, in others you can really see the rosy color. It is a 1 coat polish meaning 1 coat is opaque and it's amazing! There is some shimmer to it but not chunky glitter. Full Size $11

RUFFIAN Dressing Room Nail Lacquer Remover Towelettes - I just used these and have to say, I am not a fan. They took the color off my nails, but left the base coat sticky/ tacky to touch. I did like that they were perfumed instead of the usual strong nail polish remover smell. Full Size $12 (set of 10)

dr. brandt® Exclusive Camera-Ready Kit - I got the Pores No More pore refiner. And boy did I need it! I love this stuff. It works great to minimize the look of my pores and also helps keep my shine free longer. This is definitely a "gonna purchase" item for me. Full Size $45 (for the full kit)

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel - How scared was I when I saw the word peel?? Very. I have never used anything like this and just the thought of my skin peeling away or off, is off-putting. But I woman'd up and tried it out! I think I did it right, haha. After following the directions and doing the final rinse off, my skin felt so soft! I couldn't stop touching it...which probably wasn't a good idea. But I just couldn't help myself! This product is only for once a week use and should last a while. Full Size $48

I almost forgot to mention ~ This month Birchbox teamed up with Women's Health! We received a 1 year free subscription to the magazine, as well as a booklet with 12 bite-sized challenges to #powerup our lives! Very cute and a fun idea!

I really enjoy getting this box each month! It really is like a little taste of Christmas throughout the year!!

If you don't have Birchbox and would like to sign up, feel free to use my referral link (I will get points if you do) or go directly to birchbox.com.

Also, you can see my Birchbox un-boxing playlist on YouTube: ms_la_tn_grl's Birchbox playlist

Please tell me what you got in your box this month and how you like everything!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Birchbox ~ Jouer Cosmetics Blushing Beauty Limited Edition Palette ~ Full Review + Pictures

If you don't have a Twitter account, or are not following Birchbox, you should. Not only do they post great information and photos, they also do contests for products in their shop! I won a Cynthia Rowley Beauty collection (click here for full review + pictures) that continues to be one of my most used collections for everyday looks!

And after that contest, I won another: Jouer Cosmetics Blushing Beauty Limited Edition Palette. This palette is lovely; that is literally the word that comes to mind. It's very much a set to use for a natural, pretty, soft look. There was an option for this palette or the Jouer Little Black Dress Collection. (I may purchase this one in the near future!)

Here are my thoughts on the items, including pictures and links to the Birchbox website. (Not affiliate links)

It came in a cream white box with Jouer stamped in silver and the product description stamped on the bottom, also in silver.
Inside this was a mesh bag with the palette inside.

At first sight, I was a bit confused. All of the items were attached. And it took a few minutes to figure out how to separate them. All items are easily accessible while attached. They can also be popped apart if you only wanted to use a single item at a time. Each piece, save the lip gloss, has it's own small mirror inside, on the top. This could come in handy for touch-ups. For travel purposes, I would keep everything as is - attached as a palette; I don't see it taking up much space in my travel makeup case.

The products were in sleek, shiny, black cases except the lip product. It was in a clear, rectangular container with the lid matching the black of the other products. Not that anyone would call you out on it, but I do find the packaging to be susceptible to smudges and fingerprints.
Jouer Blushing Beauty Collection

Items included in this palette:
Jouer Sheer Matte Powder and Bronzer - I find this to be very creamy and soft. The powder gave sheer matte coverage. The bronzer warmed up my skin tone without looking dark and muddy. There is a slight shimmer over spray on both the powder and bronzer, that I can see. And I'm not sure why, but after a few days use, it looks like there is a darker spray of color over the matte powder. These are so sheer, that swatches did not turn out in pictures.

Jouer Powder Eyeshadow  - This set includes the duo of Chocolat and Peach; sold as singles when not in this set. These are so creamy! They both have some shimmer; the Peach has very little, while the Chocolat is more noticeable. Very easily blend-able and easy to apply with only your fingers. These are great for a long-lasting, natural look. Or, use the Peach as the base, Chocolate as a blending color, and other colors for a 3 or more eyeshadow eye look. I find them to be very compatible with most other eyeshadow shades I own!

I also used the Peach as the highlight and the Chocolat as a blending color for a brown smokey eye look:
Tint & Highlight - I can't find these on birchbox.com sold in any way other than the Blushing Beauty Collection. These are both soft and creamy! (It seems to be the theme of this palette) The highlight gives a dewy glow. I won't get to use it much as a face highlight because my skin type is so oily, but I may get good use out of it as an eyeshadow base or inner corner eye highlight. The tint gives the perfect flush or blush to the cheeks. It is a cream tint, so I suggest powdering after application. The first day I didn't and I had some transfer. Again, these have some shimmer to them but not flecks of glitter.

Jouer Moisturizing Lip Gloss in Cherish - I believe this color is only in this collection, but there are other colors available on birchbox.com. At first, I thought it was very creamy, I still do, and not sticky. Now I am finding it to be a little bit sticky when re-applying later in the day. This could be because I need to exfoliate my lips though. The color is so pretty and light. It feels pretty comfortable on the lips. I love this to really finish off both the smokey eye and the natural look! You can see shimmer/ glitter in the lip gloss. It is very shiny when worn, without having chunks of glitter.

 Over all, I find this to be the perfect palette for a light, natural look with washes of color. All the products are pretty versatile and I am not at all disappointed with my choice of the Blushing Beauty collection!

If you are not yet a member of the birchbox community, please feel free to sign up using my referral link: http://www.birchbox.com/shop/jouer-moisturizing-lip-gloss-203
(Note: I do get points if you use this link)

Birchbox is a beauty and lifestyle monthly subscription service. For the women's box, the cost is $10/ month; the men's cost is $20/ month. See their website for more information.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Nadine West ~ Clothing & Jewelry Subscription Service ~ Pink Bag # 2

Before this, I'd received one pink bag from Nadine West. I didn't really like anything that was in the bag....I wanted to though! After the sweet ladies at Nadine West either read my Twitter post, blog post, or watched my YouTube video, they sent me messages trying to make things right. I was given another style profile questionnaire to fill out and was sent this bag.

In this pink bag, I received a pair of starburst type earrings, and pretty pendant necklace, and a sheer black top with cream crochet detailing. While I liked the jewelry, I didn't really see myself wearing either piece often, so I sent those back.

But the top, the top I loved! They hit the nail on the head with that. It's totally my style and a nice fit as well. I tried it on, loved it, put in the wash, and now I can't wait to rock that! It's perfect for summer too, because it's sheer and all I'd need under it is a black tank top and I'll be good to go!

I wasn't too happy with the first pink bag, but the second one is a winner!

I can't wait to see what I get next month :)

Here is my first pink bag blog: Nadine West Clothing & Jewelry Subscription Service and video: My 1st Pink Bag ~ Nadine West Opening! (These posts have information from Nadine West's website)