Friday, May 31, 2013

June Julep Maven 2013

My Julep box got here early this month!

This months box has the theme of Sail into Summer!  The theme colors are soft red, blue and white like the Nantucket Massachusetts shore.  I switched from my usual Bombshell style to Boho Glam for the gorgeous colors.

Everything was wrapped up super cute as per Juleps usual M.O.

The extras this month were salt water taffy!  I got one in chocolate, strawberry and lime.  I loooove salt water taffy.  It reminds me of summer trips to Lake George when I was a kid.  The product this month is Juleps new DD cream.  I selected light to go with my skin tone.  Boho Glam included Dianna, a sea foam green and Lexie, a bright creme yellow.

Now, DD cream was a term coined by Julep.  I feel like all these creams are starting to get a little crazy.  We started out with BB creams or beauty balms, which were at first asian imports.  They typically give you some type of sheer coverage with added benefits like SPF protection and anti-oxidants.  Depending on the brand there are usually other perks as well.  My favorite is my Urban Decay Naked Skin Beaty Balm which is a 5 in 1 that perfects, protects, treats, primes and hydrates.  They can be used under makeup for the benefits or just over your face when you want a natural, sheer look.

CC cream stands for 'color correcting' as opposed to 'beauty balm'.  They are usually marketed with more coverage and help with redness and skin flaws while containing all the other benefits BB creams typically have.  Really the difference between BB and CC is pretty minuscule, just pigment!

Now we can move onto DD.  Julep has released this jumping ahead of everyone else and setting themselves ahead of the pack.  DD stands for Dynamic Do-All.  Julep claims that this cream will go further than BB and CC cream by moisturizing, priming, perfecting and protecting.  It has 25 SPF, anti-aging ingredients, buildable coverage that is denser than some BB and CC creams and a variety of shades (that's where they beat out Urban Decay! That only comes in one shade)

So to clarify, BB-DD creams really do many of the same things with slight variations depending on the brand.  Basically BB tends to be sheerest while building down the line.  I do think that this race to the finish is a little ridiculous because they all pretty much do the same things!  It sounds as if everyone is trying to market themselves as new and flashy even though the products are all typically similar. I mean, what comes next, EE cream?  I don't even want to think about what happens when we get to P, I am NOT putting PP cream on my face.

The DD cream was fun to use!  The bottle was bigger than I was expecting.  the light shade matched my skin perfectly.  It did give a pretty good coverage when rubbed in.  The picture shows it applied straight out of the bottle on the upper part of the hand and gently rubbed in on the lower.  It smells kind of like sunscreen.  I'll be switching it out for my Urban Decay BB cream to see how it stacks up!  I'm already liking the added coverage and it matches my skin better than UD.

There has been some uproar this month.  The DD cream bottles are big, bigger than my Urban Decay BB cream, yet they appear to only be half full.  There is a lot of air you have to squeeze out to get to the product.  There should be 1 oz in the bottles.  My UD cream is 1.16 oz. and in a smaller bottle so I'm thinking maybe they just put the cream in bottles that were too big to make it seem like you were getting more?  While I see how the idea is appealing it left many people upset feeling cheated and gypped.  I believe it is 1 oz, the containers are just the wrong size so I don't mind too much.  I do have the concealer and brush coming from Julep as add ons.  I've been reading that some people can't even get product out of the concealer containers theres so much air in it.  If that's the case I'll have to send customer service and email when it gets here. I've always had good experiences with Julep customer service so we'll see what happens.

Julep Dianna is an absolutely gorgeous color.  This is typically the amazing Julep formula!  Two coats was perfect opaque and went on beautifully.  I don't have a single bad thing to say about it!

Julep Lexie was why I switched to this box.  Yellow is my least favorite color.  It looks horrible on me and brings out the red in my skin which I usually try to hide.  However, I dislike yellow so much that I never have any good yellow polishes.  When the time comes that I need a creamy yellow for some nail art or a nice gradient nail I never have anything to turn to.  I had to fill the void in my polish rack.  Lexie did just that!  This is the most beautiful canary yellow I have ever seen!  Two coats was still the slightest bit streaky so I added a third for good measure and that did the trick.  It is such a sunny, warm yellow color.  Polish rack void, filled!

I added on Juleps DD Concealer in light (the DD here stands for Disguise & Diminish) and the double ended concealer and cream brush so I will be adding a part two to my Julep post when they arrive!  I really wish they would start shipping add ons together with my boxes!

To sign up for your own Julep Maven subscription box and get your first month free.  Just follow this link and take the Julep style quiz.  They will match you with a style and send box of polish and products right to your door!  If you don't like the box keep it and cancel the subscription at no cost.  If you're like me and love your Julep subscription you can keep it and you will be billed $19.99 each month after your free box.  You can cancel or skip months at any time!

May Glossybox 2013

This month I started a three month subscription to Glossybox.  I've heard good things about them and this was the month that marked their one year anniversary so I thought I would be getting some good celebratory products.  What ended up pushing me over the edge to join was another blogger posting about one of her Glossybox months which impressed me.

Currently I am a religious Ipsy Glam Bag and Julep subscriber.  I am pleased with them pretty much every month and they continue to improve and make their products the best they can offer.  While Ipsy is $10, Glossybox is a little steeper at $21.  Julep is $19.99 but for all the awesome discounted products and polish it is definitely worth it.  I have looked into Birchbox and decided it's not really for me.  I'm not that into perfume and skincare and prefer beauty products such as make up and polish.

I was very excited when my stamped Glossybox arrived on my doorstep and couldn't wait to see what was inside.

I've heard awesome things about their packaging and I wasn't disappointed.  These things are wrapped up fit for a queen.

The box is a sturdy cardboard pink with black Glossybox print on the inside.  I will definitely be keeping my box for future use.

Inside is a layer of black tissue filled with black paper shreds with the products on top all wrapped up in  a pastel pink ribbon.  There were some cards as well.  This box included a mini Glossybox magazine, a product card telling me about the products I received and how much they are worth full size (?), a coupon for a free bikini line, eyebrow or underarm treatment at European Wax Center (I was excited this was added in the box and was thankful Glossybox included it....until I found out it's not a Glossybox exclusive and European Wax Center gives that coupon free to any first time visitor to the center) and a free 1.5 oz. shaper or shaper plus with any $15 Sebastian purchase at Ulta (won't be using, the closest Ulta is three hours away from me).

Ipsy has been spoiling me.  I was actually a little underwhelmed when I opened up all the pretty packaging.  I have never heard of any of the brands they sent to me.  Annnnd I was disappointed that some of the samples were little throw away foils.  

My products are a travel size 1.7 oz. Sebastian Volupt Spray, a full size .29 oz. Nicka K New York Absolute! solid perfume stick in Free Spirit 100, a sample size .14 oz. Epionce Intense Defense Serum, an Xtreme Lashes pencil sharpener, full size Xtreme Lashes Glideliner Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Black Pearl, 

a single Etre Belle Beauty System Collagen & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask (typically 10 masks to a box) and two European Wax Center sample foils of Slow It Body Wash and Slow It Body Lotion.  I delved into this sea of products I wasn't familiar with and went right into trying them.  

Epionce Intense Defense Serum:
This is just a throw away sample so I'm not going to put a price on it because no one would buy this size.  There are only about two, maybe three uses in here if you squeeze really hard.  This serum is listed as being a complete multivitamin for your skin.  It is supposed to help rejuvenate to reverse and prevent aging.  For me at 24, I don't think I would even glance at this on the shelf.  There was no scent to this and it applied kind of gel like.  My skin felt a little prickly after applying.  With this product it sounds like it needs to be used over time to work and I didn't see any effects after my two applications.  This stuff does run high at $136 for a 30 ml size.  Maybe for someone more mature they would enjoy the sample but it's just not not in my demographic.  

European Wax Center - Slow It Body Wash, Slow It Body Lotion:
These are the other two foil samples so I won't price them.  They are single use.  These can be used after waxing or shaving. The body wash prevents ingrown hair, leaves skin clear, deters bumps and hydrates while the body lotion nourishes and softens skin while decreasing hair density to allow for softer, thinner hair growth.  I tried the lotion which smelled a bit chemically.  It was very moisturizing but a little oily.  I can't attest to its hair thinning power with only one use but, I would be interested in this lotion if it did what it claims!  Who doesn't want less notable body hair.  The body wash I haven't tried yet but I'll give it a go after shaving my legs in a few days to see how it soothes.  A full size 8 oz. Slow It Body Wash costs $20 and a matching $20 will get you the 8 oz. Slow It Body Lotion. 

Nika K New York - Absolute! Perfume Stick in Free Spirit 100: $14.99
This is a full size perfume stick.  I haven't tried sticks before and have only used liquid fragrance in the past.  Free Spirit 100 is a vanilla, honey and berry scented perfume.  It smells just like sugar cookies. I tend to shy away from food scented perfumes and stick to floral scents because they make me constantly hungry when I get a whiff of them throughout my day.  However, I do find the scent appealing and the stick form is very nice because I don't have to worry about my perfume rollerball shattering and ruining my bag, although then it would smell good forever!  My go to scent is Vera Wangs Princess.  The packaging of the Absolute! Perfume Stick was quite nice.  The stick comes in a chap stick like plastic container that raises when turned but that is placed in a cardboard decorative container (seen in the picture of the products above).  I did enjoy learning about the Nika K New York brand although it would be even better if it was made here in the US instead of Korea.  They seem to be a small brand looking to branch out.  It is local to me and they have lots of interesting affordable products.  If I hadn't gotten this in my Glossybox I probably would never know about them.  My one critique is that this scent didn't last too long.  I'll be smelling my liquid perfume all day but this definitely faded and wasn't and bright and fragrant as it started out.

Sebastian Professional - Volupt Spray: $7.00
This is a travel size product.  Sebastian Professional Volupt Spray is a volume building spray gel that gives volume and softness.  It works best sprayed on damp hair after you shake the bottle.  I didn't shake it up before I used it and it was a little stiff but held my hair in place pretty well.  I haven't heard of this brand before either but maybe that is just because I don't have a lot of hair styling experience.  It looks like all the expensive salons around me carry it.  I look forward to trying it some more.  

A full size 5.06 oz. bottle of Volupt spray will run you $19.95.

Xtreme Lashes - Glideliner Long Lasting Eye Pencil in Black Pearl: $29.00
This is another full size product.  Not to mention they threw in the sharpener which was a nice treat! This is probably my favorite product from the box. 

This liner is a gel that is smudge proof and sets quickly to last awhile.  It can be smudged after just applying if you want more of a smoky look or let it dry for a sharp line.  

The formula is Vitamin E enriched and glideds smoothly.  I assumed this was black when I read the name Black Pearl but was pretty surprised when I swatched it.  

This is a deep eggplant shade. In dim lighting it appears black.  It is full of purple shimmer that comes out in the light.  Depending on the lighting it almost looked like I was wearing two different liners.  The smooth gliding gel is extremely nice and easy to work with.  It is easy to smudge with a finger or smudge brush.  I worked out a little while after applying it to my eyes and the liner did stay in place extremely well and stayed pigmented and dense!  I only had a little bit of running around the inside corner of one eye but I believe thats my fault for rubbing it.  This pencil did seem to use up quite a bit of product when I only applied it once though which is my only complaint.  I guess I'll be needing that sharpener soon!

Etre Belle - Collage & Aloe Vera Hydro Mask: $3.95
This mask restructures and moisturizes using collagen & aloe vera for an extreme moisture boost that improves elasticity and promotes hydration.  I'm a little bit worried about this one.  There are no instructions on how to use it!  It seems like they got full 10 package boxes of these masks and just broke them down for one in each box.  How long am I supposed to keep this thing on?  Will the collagen eat my face if I fall asleep in it?  I ended up having to look up the instructions on Amazon of all places.  Frankly, it was hard to unfold the clothy stuff the mask was made up of and when I finally did get it on it slipped all over and wouldn't hug my jaw line and just kinda dangled.  I did have fun pretending I was a serial killer who cut off someones face and was wearing it though, so at least theres that!

See what I mean, I'm a total creeper.  

 Overall this was a so-so box.  It bummed me out because I'm hoping the next two months won't be like this box.  I was not impressed with the throw away samples.  I'd rather turn in all three plus the mask and get a mini or deluxe sample size of something more substantial.  I think this could have been nice if this box was more tailored to my tastes.  The European Wax samples, the Epionce Serum and the Etre Belle Hydro Mask I wasn't really feeling at all. The perfume stick was nice it's just not the scent for me.  I do like the Sebastian Volupt Spray and the Extreme Lashes Glideliner.  Two out of seven...not so great.  Overall I got a $54.94 value on my box so that definitely isn't the issue.  I felt that maybe Glossybox is more tailored towards more mature purchasers with the collagen mask and the Epionce Anti-Aging Serum but I haven't had the experience with past boxes to know for sure.

I found out after I ordered that the Glossybox review I read and got me to sign up for a subscription was actually not a subscriber box.  Glossybox releases 'limited edition' boxes to subscribers that pay an extra $30 on top of their subscription to get an extra box for the month of full size and deluxe products that go with a certain theme.  Pull the wool over my eyes!  This box was full of small samples and there wasn't any of that in the limited edition boxes.

I have only ever purchased two products because of the samples I received in the past.  The first was Lovely Jubblies Breast Cream from Lush.  Believe me, when the girl at Lush gave it to me and was like "It's boob cream!" I was severely not impressed.  Who puts lotion just on their boobs?  It weirded me out.  Buttttt I had the sample so I tried it at home after I made sure no one was looking.  It smelled amazingggggg and I did notice it working after only a few uses.  The ladies felt firm and refreshed.  I actually started using as little of my sample as possible after showers like some kind of 60's gas rationer so it would last and when it was gone I had to go buy some more.

The second product I purchased after trying a sample of was Macadamia Natural Oil: Healing Oil Treatment for hair.  I got a 1 oz. size in my May Ipsy Glam Bag.  It was the only product I've ever applied where I noticed an insane difference from just one use.  After showering I put it in my hair and I woke up with silky smooth, tamed locks.  After one use I knew I wanted more but at $40 for a 4.6 oz. size there was no way I was buying.  I did some sleuthing and found a new bottle in the same size I was able to snag at auction on ebay for $18!

Actually now that I think about it I also got a deluxe sample size of Urban Decays 24/7 eye liner in zero from my December Ipsy Glam Bag that I will probably buy again but, my stick hasn't run out yet!

Anyyyyway, back to Glossybox,

I'm hoping to see some better put together boxes in the next two months, hopefully some brands I recognize and products tailored to me or it looks like my subscription won't be renewed.

If you feel like a Glossybox would be right up your alley, even though it may not have been for me, you can sign up by clicking here and choosing a one month plan for $21, a three month plan for $60, a six month plan for $115 or a year long plan for $220.

What do you think of Glossybox?  Are you a current subscriber and if so what do you like about Glossybox?

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Let's Go Yankees!

Yesterday I went to the subway series Yanks vs. Mets game at Yankee Stadium!  It was a lot of fun.  Of course I had to support my team on my nails!

I guess my nail art didn't help much because the Yankees got slaughtered!  

I created these nails using Zoya Purity for the base, hand painting the logo and baseball on and did the pinstripes by placing individual blue holographic bar glitters in lines.  

What team do you root for?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Beauty Hacks: Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder

Today I will teach you how to replicate exactly Make Up For Ever's HD Microfinish Powder for under $10. Yes, you read that right.  Less than $10 bucks for something that costs $39 for .3oz at Sephora.

I recently got into makeup when I started winning a few nice makeup items in nail contest.  I wanted to learn how to use the stuff properly so I started experimenting.  I immediately started drowning in the quagmire of quicksand that is makeup products.  Primer, what the heck does that do?  Foundation, does that go on first or do I put it on last?  Is there even a difference between concealer and foundation?  Primer Potion just for my eyes, what, I thought I already had a primer?  You can see where I was confused.  Like Jon Snow, I know nothing.

Well it's been about six months and I think it's safe to say I've become pretty confident with my makeup skills.  I mean, I'm no makeup ninja, but I have figured out a nice routine to make myself look presentable and have a firm grasp of the products I like.  I've managed to spend every cent of my paychecks over that time frame to build a nice cosmetic army.  The one thing I've been missing is a nice finisher.

A finishing powder or setting spray do some of the same things.  After you spend three hours on your makeup the last thing you want is to go out for the night, have an allergy attack and end up rubbing off half of your makeup while trying to protect people from your sneezes.  Finishing powder or setting spray will keep your makeup in place and protect it so you get long lasting wear.  Finishing powder, as an added bonus over setting spray, will also absorb oil and moisture throughout the wear and set into pores and fine lines making them almost invisible.  You can see why there was quite a clamor when they started hitting the market.

I always do my research before buying.  I scanned messaged boards, reviews on Sephora, magazine 'best of' articles and asked my dog her opinion before I settled on Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder as the winner.  Not only did it have some of the best reviews and multiple awards but applying it softens skin for a 'photoshopped' effect, it minimizes imperfections, it is universally translucent and will work on any skin tone, it absorbs oil and moisture, it gives a matte effect for no more shine and it can be worn alone on bare skin or over makeup to keep it in place.  So you can understand why this stuff is $39 for .3 oz at Sephora.

But heres the kicker, Make Up For Ever HD Finishing Powder is 100% finely milled, mineral silica powder.  Silica is a crystal that grows naturally in the may know it more familiarly as quartz.

All this stuff is is ground up quartz crystals!  This isn't gold dust we're talking about so why is it so expensive?!  You can get this stuff from mining quarries for $80 a ton....A TON....and we are paying almost $40 for less than an ounce!

There are some issues with buying silica powder. Scolicosis has been linked to crystalized silica particles.  That makes it important to make sure you are buying cosmetic grade silica powder NOT crystalized silica particles.

I found exactly that on Coastal Scents! Coastal Scents has a lot of makeup supplies to help you make your own from scratch and they have been carrying silica powder spheres for cosmetics for awhile now.  Usually these go into foundation to help mattify it and absorb oil.  You can buy a 1 oz. container for $4.75.  Compare that to Make Up For Ever's $39 for .3 oz!  Costal Scents also has sifter jars (I bought the 20 gram size $1.08, you could go bigger or smaller).  Add shipping to NY and my total was $9.88.

This pretty package arrived today!

There is the 1 oz. Silica Powder Spheres in a jar, my sifter jar carefully packaged and in a nice black drawstring bag, an extra little pink makeup bag with CS they threw in along with a sample of four of their eyeshadows in a mini palette. Thanks Coastal Scents!  Ps - shipping was super speedy.

The silica powder is extremely finely milled.  Just unscrewing the jar lid sends up a puff of powder.  To be safe I would repot this outside or using a mask.  Yes, this is the safer version of silica but it's never good to breath in fine particles like this regardless of what it is.  The sifter jar comes in three pieces the base, the sifter separator and the lid. 

Now your ready to repot!

Use a small spoon to fill the base of your jar.  And by fill, I mean no more than halfway.  I actually have too much in here in the picture.  When I applied the sifter part there was a little white cloud I was lost in for three days and had to find my way out of.  Added bonus, you will have so much left in your 1 oz. jar you can refill the sifter whenever you're low!  Seriously, this is like a lifetime supply of finishing powder. 

Now you press your sifter separator onto the lip of the jar hard until it clips on.  Lift up the sticker covering the sifter holes and screw on the lid, all done!

Now you're ready to use a fan or finishing brush to apply your finishing powder after your makeup routine.  A little goes a long way so just dip your brush into the jar, tap it on the edge to get rid of excess and lightly brush it over your entire face.

And voila!  I just saved you a ton of money.  This isn't even a dupe for Make Up Forever HD Finishing Powder, it's the exact same thing.  You can send all that excess cash via check to my address.  Just kidding, you guys are polish addicts.  I'm sure you'll have it spend on the new summer polish collections before you can blink twice.  


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Born Pretty Store Review

Today I got a cute little package full of nail goodies sent to me for review courtesy of the Born Pretty Store.

The Born Pretty Store is located in China.  They have a huuuuuge variety of nail and beauty accessories that are very affordable.  Granted, coming from China they need 2-3 weeks to get to the states but for the price, I don't mind waiting.

The first product is a stud wheel including different sizes and shapes in gold, silver and bronze.  I always have such a hard time finding nice inexpensive studs so this is awesome! Sallys they had an acrylic stud set like this for $14.  This is just under $5!  All the studs have concave backs to fit the curve of your nail better.  The top coat suctions the stud in place.  I rocked the smaller studs but there are a few larger studs that don't hug the nail as well as the smallers.    

Next up are the 12 Piece Gold 3D Stickers (click the picture to blow it up and see more detail).  These are themed in each set with lots of fun designs.  When I tried to take these off the paper I found they were very brittle and would easily crack apart and break if you didn't pull them off gently.  Another issue I had with these was the gold coloration.  When I applied a top coat over the sticker to seal it in, as per the directions, I got some gold bleeding that streaked down with the top coat.  It isn't very noticeable but it can change the color of the polish underneath.  The stickers also have a slight ridge that can be seen.  

For my mani I used Zoya Blu as the base which I received in my May Ipsy glam bag.  I used the gold stickers on the pointer and ring finger.  I went with all gold studs in small squares and circles and place a large heart on the ringer finger.  

Here is how I got this look!

Overall I don't think I would buy the stickers again.  I prefer hand painted art!  The studs are definitely something I would like to continue purchasing in the future! I absolutely love my hardware.  If there is any kind of nail accessory you can think of that you want for nails the Born Pretty Store has it!  

Use the code DLLW10 on the Born Pretty Store to get 10% off your entire order!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Ipsy Glam Bag May 2013

This pretty pink bag showed up on my doorstep today.  You know what that meansssssss.....

Ipsy glam bag time! *Does the Ipsy dance*

Ipsy creates glam bags each month and ships them to your door.  Each month you get a cute makeup bag and five beauty products.  Some products will be full size with a few usually being deluxe samples or mini sizes.  They are only $10 a month and I always get much more than $10 worth of products.

I had a good feeling about this months bag.  Enough that I didn't even look at the sneak peeks of products or anything.  I wanted to feel sheer excitement upon opening my bag and I got exactly that.

I tore my bag open to find a delectable chevron patterned makeup bag and a whole pile of this months products!

I received Juice Beauty Reflective Gloss in Pink, a Yaby Concealer Flawless Refill pan, Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Zodiac (!!!), Zoya nail polish in Blu, Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment for hair and St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion.

You may be saying, but Casey why did you get six products?  Ipsy glam bags include five things.  Yes, yes they do.  However Ispy is really great at throwing in extras to their members.  The Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Zodiac was an extra that was given to me to thank me for being an active Ipsy community member.  Here is how you can be qualified for extra products too:
"The lucky recipients are recognized as active participants within the ipsy community. They create Looks on, review our products on YouTube, participate in our Challenges, engage with others on our Facebook page, and are beauty trendsetters whose opinion our community trusts." - Ipsy

Thank you for considering me an active participant Ipsy! <3  Now onto the good stuff.

Juice Beauty Reflective Gloss in Pink: $7.50 half size (.14oz.)

Juice Beauty is an organic brand from California.  They focus on using pure ingredients and are eco friendly!  The full size Reflective Glosses are .28oz and retail for $15 which is big!  The size included is .14oz which I assumed was full size when I saw it.  There is a lot of gloss in the tube already.  

The gloss is not sticky which is nice and extremely glossy.  On top of that there are little shimmers inside!  This gloss is filled with all kinds of real berries, sesame oil and agave extract.    

 Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow in Zodiac: $20 full size (.05oz.)

I had heard of the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadows but haven't seen them in person before because they were just released about a month ago.  I'm a totally UD Naked junkie.  I have both Naked eye palettes, the Naked Basics palette, the Naked BB Cream and the Naked Skin Foundation.  This eyeshadow shows me how much I need to branch out and try moreeeee of their products.  

This shadow is dazzling.  Zodiac has deep green base with brown accents but, the kicker is the glowing opalescent glitters that are crammed in here.  These glitters are fantastic in that they lay flat!  No heavy fall out with these.  This swatch shows the eyeshadow applied alone on the right and applied with a little bit of water on the left which really packs a punch.  

The picture really doesn't show how amazing these shine so heres a Vine! (I made a rhyme).....and also apologize for being super cheesy.

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment: $13.50 full size (1oz.)

Macadamia Healing Oil Treatment is a therapeutic oil for hair.  The oil is weightless and easily absorbed by hair so you won't get any yucky oil-slick head when you use it.  I'm super excited I got this  because I just ran out of my John Frieda Frizz Ease.  I usually just rub it between my palms and smooth the top of my hair to get rid of fly aways.  This oil sounds like it will do just that and more! This smooths and shines while also giving UV protection, extending color treatments and also has a reduced drying time.

Oh and did I mention this stuff smells ah-may-zing? It is strong but wonderful.  I want my hair to smell like it all the time.  This bottle alone is worth more than my $10 Ipsy monthly charge.  What a bang for my buck!

St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion: $5 travel size (1.69oz.)

St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion is basically a tan in a bottle.  You apply the very dark lotion and smooth it into the skin.  St. Tropez suggests you use your palms, an applicator glove or rubber gloves to apply.  The lotion will immediately tint your skin.  You can almost control the shade by how much you rub it which is fun.  You will stay bronzed until you wash it off with soap and water and then I get to go back to being a pasty white ghost.

The left shows my hand how it normally is (I know it fades into the white background.  Maybe squinting will help you see it) and the right shows where I applied and smoothed in the Instant Glow onto the top of my hand.  I didn't do fingers or my wrist or by my thumb so you could see the contrast.  This lotion is really fun but I do have concerns.  What happens when I'm at a party all bronzed up and my clumsy self pours a drink all down my front?  Will I be left to strip down and give myself a sponge bath in the hosts bathroom so my skin matches only to emerge five shades lighter all while trying to play it off that the power must have surged and changed the house lighting?  Or more applicable, if I wash my hands when using this stuff all over would I end up looking like I stuck my hands in marshmallow fluff?  I'll play around with St. Tropez Instant Glow Body Lotion but I'll have to see how it holds up over a nights use.

Yaby Concealer Flawless Refill in Buff: $5 (3.5g.)

Yaby is interesting in that you can pick an empty palette or container and fill it with whatever pans of makeup you'd like on their website.  I got the Yaby Concealer in Buff, one of their lighter colors.  (Sorry for the smushed pan pick I forgot to photograph it before I swatched). 

On the left my hand is normal.  On the right I used the Yaby Concealer to coverup a beauty mark and I did a plain smudge without rubbing it on a little higher on the hand.  It feels very thick which is good for coverups and did a pretty good job of concealing my beauty mark but you can still see it peeking through a bit.  I'm sure if I paired this with a foundation it would be pretty much invisible though.  I'm so excited that this matches my skin tone and I'll definitely be trying it with my normal makeup to see how it stacks up against my Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Concealer.  

Zoya Blu: $8 full size (.5oz.)

Zoya Blu is BRAND NEW from the spring 2013 Lovely Collection.  I was so psyched when I saw the black Zoya box in my Ipsy bag and even more psyched when I saw it was Blu!

Zoya Blu is simply everything I love about this brand.  The coverage is glossy and opaque in two coats.  The color is a beautiful, pastel baby blue and as a side note I want to marry it and have little blue babies.  Pick up this color immediately.

Added up altogether this bag has a $59 value (not including the chevron makeup bag).  Even if you didn't get the Urban Decay Moondust Eyeshadow as an extra you would still get a bag worth $39 when you only paid $10.  I always get a great value with my Ipsy bags.  This has got to be one of my favorite months ever!  Want to try Ipsy for yourself?  It is easy to sign up!  Just follow this link and make yourself a member!  You can cancel your subscription at anytime, otherwise you'll get a nice little bag of goodies at your door each month.  

I'm really happy with where Ipsy is going.  Their bags seems to just get better and better.  They now are introducing a perks system when you refer people to join which is always great!  I am also happy to see that they are starting to mix up the products in each months bag instead of the same thing to everyone.  This way users will be more likely to get items that fit their tastes based off their beauty profile.  

Keep up the amazing work Ipsy!  I'm proud to be an Ipster.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Starbucks Nails!

I recently received my Starbucks gold card in the mail and I had to celebrate with some nail art!

For these nails I painted a hot coffee cup on the pointer, the Starbucks siren on the middle, the gold card symbol on the ring and a frappuccino on the pinky.  

Did you know that now through May 12th from 3-5pm Starbucks is running happy hour!  Half price on all frappuccinos!

I shot these with my gold card on my Vine app!  If you've got it you can follow me under my username DullLikeGlitter.  If not, here is the video for your viewing pleasure:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lace Wedding Nails Then and Now

It's wedding season! That means wedding nails!

 Last year boyfriends mother got married and I painted a neutral and white lace design on her nails with a Phillies P on the thumb. (They're big baseball fans) Unfortunately I couldn't find a picture of the whole mani, but here is the Phillies logo.

 To match my dress I created navy blue nails with white lace accents. Keep in mind this is when I first started nail art and I was not very experienced.

Bleh, talk about needing clean up!

I decided to revisit this theme now that it is wedding season again!  This is also a fun way to see how far I've come in nail art.  

I wanted to keep the blue and lace theme but make it more pastel and light, like something I could see a bride wearing.

I used Essie Bikini So Teeny as the blue base and hand painted the lace design on the ringer finger.  A few people were surprised and actually thought it might be a stamp at first!  I'm so flattered. :)

Here is a close up.  You can see each individual little brush stroke. 

What do you think about these wedding nails?  Would you wear them to your wedding?  Did you have a special mani for your big day?  Let me know in the comments.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Alanna Renne Nail Polish

Today I have two beautiful polishes sent to me for review by Color4Nails.  These are Alanna Rennes in Ablaze and Pacific.  You may not have heard of Alanna Renne before and that's ok, she's an indie maker in Australia!  Previously her polishes were pretty much impossible to get overseas.  However, Color4Nails has started carrying these beautiful polishes making them available to us here in the U.S.

Color4Nails was an extremely successful polish seller on Ebay.  They are currently building their own website here and will be up and running soon. For the time being you can order from Color4Nails by emailing them your inquiry at

Now to the goodies!  I was immediately drawn to Ablaze.  This polish is a fiery orange jelly base full of small yellow and red hexs, black hexs and yellow and red shatter glitters.  There are soooooo much glitters in each bottle.  One coat gave me a lot of volume with all the glitter and then I added a second just to cover up my nail line and I was good to go.  Using the dabbing method to get the glitter coverage even will help with this one.  With Ablaze a glitter tamer top coat is a must!  The shards in this really do make my nails feel like they're on fire.  It is a must see in person.  My favorite part about this polish is how unique it is!  I can't think of a singe polish even remotely similar to this.  Why are all the most amazing indies from Australia ?  There must me something in the water over there.

This macro shows you just how much glitter is packed in here. This was only two thin coats!  This polish makes me want to be Katniss for Halloween just so I can wear this for the occasion.  

Pacific is the next polish!  This is a deep blue jelly base with large blue and holographic turquoise hex glitter, turquoise bar glitter and small silver holographic glitter.  I got a nice coverage with two coats.  It wasn't as densely packed at Ablaze.  If you want more of a deep blue sea look you can use more coats for a more layered jelly sandwich.  With two coats you could still slightly see my nail line.  I liked the glitter scattered like this. It reminded me of a pod of dolphins in the ocean. The formula was beautiful and I got all types of glitter on the brush every time I dipped in.  

I really love the holo glitters in this mix.  They wink at you in the light.  You can check out the macro to show what I mean!

Overall both Alanna Rennes Ablaze and Pacific are gorgeously complex indies.  The formulas are fantastic and the combinations are unique.  Now that these are available in the U.S. from Color4Nails you don't want to miss out on these beauties!  Also make sure you check out some other Alanna Renee polishes.  She has some really unique beauties with some wonderful inspirations.  Black Cherry? Sandpit? Butterbeer?  I want to try more!