Friday, December 30, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #2 Origins Peace of Mind
Happy Holidays!  Merry Christmas!

Yea, I know I didn't finish my top 10 before Christmas.  But I'm finishing it now hopefully before New Year's.  On the bright side, you can look at the final two as gifts for yourself!  It's okay to be selfish now, and hopefully with some holiday gift cards/money, you'll find my top 10 handy!

At number two is Origins Peace of Mind on-the-spot relief.  Perfect right after all the holiday stress?  All you need is one pump from the bottle, and you dab a little on your temples or back of the neck and give a gentle rub into your skin.  I like to put a little right underneath the nose (like you do with Vick's vapor rub when you're sick with a cold).  It's got a strong peppermint scent to it, which diffuses quite quickly so it's not overpowering - just right.

For a tiny bottle, it sure takes a load off and lasts a long time; in fact, I bought my bottle months ago and still using it!  I like to use it right before I go to bed.  Give yourself some peace of mind post-holiday season and pick up a bottle!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #3 From Instagram to Stickgram

Excuse the poor lighting.  My magnets appear a lot brighter.
Since it's Wednesday, I decided to make this nifty product my number three on my Holiday list as well as my Potpourri Wednesday post.  Stickygram is a website that works with Instagram to create magnets from your Instagram photos!  They're made in sets of nine (see photo) and measure approximately 2in x 2in (50mm x 50mm), about the same size as they appear on an iPhone.  The cost of one set of nine magnets is 14.99, which includes airmail shipping!  It took about 6 days to get to me.  With that said, it might be a little late for Christmas gift giving, but hey, who said you had to stop giving gifts on Christmas day?  The site also offers gift certificates to send to photo-loving loved ones!

It's easy to do:
1.  Go to and sign in using your Instagram account.
2.  Once you see all your photos, simply click add as you scroll over each photo.
3.  Check out and pay.  Done!

My first set (and definitely not my last) set of Stickygrams!
If you've been reading some of my recent posts, I've been using the Instagram app on my iPod touch to take my blog photos.  With Instagram, you can change the look and feel of your photos just by selecting from a variety of filters.  You can make your photo look darker, have a border, look vintage, to name a few.  Once you've done that, you can share your photos with the Instagram community  as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and blogs.  Stickygram is just one more way to share your photos.  As you can see, my first set consisted of inanimate objects.  I hope to take more photos of family and friends and giving these magnets as gifts!

Arrived by Airmail.  Shipping is included in the cost!
The envelope was well packaged (no bending) and fit right
in my mailbox!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #4 LUSH's Shimmy Shimmy Sparkle Bar

This is crunch time, so let's get straight to what's next on the Holiday 2011 list of favorite things.  At number four is LUSH's Shimmy Shimmy Sparkle Bar.  I'm not too big on body glitter/shimmer, at least not since middle school and early high school, but this product is amazing.  It gives off a subtle shimmer with a light rub, or if you want to shimmer out, just rub a little more on you.  After applying it, you almost forget you're wearing body shimmer.  I remember some body glitter/shimmer products that would be wet for awhile after you applied it, and by the end of the night, the area felt icky and maybe a little sticky.  Shaped like a heart, this sparkle bar has a light vanilla lavendar scent - who doesn't love a little aromatherapy?  It also offers a little moisturizing and lasts all night long.  Lush is known for their fresh organic ingredients in ALL their products (sometimes combined with safe synthetics and essential oils).  So, if you haven't tried their products, I highly recommend starting with this fun little bar.  The bar doesn't come with a case or packaging (they follow a green policy!), but I just store this bar in one of Lush's yellow paper bags in a dry cool place on my dresser; the bar holds up just fine!

Just under seven bucks, Shimmy Shimmy Sparkle Bar makes for a lovely affordable gift!  It's also a great way to glam up your office outfit for your post-work holiday party.  Check out Lush's website for store locators.  You can also order their products online!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #5 Laura Mercier Book of Nudes

Christmas is just one week away!  Are you ready?  At number five is Laura Mercier's Book of Nudes palette (Limited Edition).  Since the success of Urban Decay's NAKED palette, several cosmetic lines have followed suit and created their own version of a premier nude/natural eyeshadow palette.  What I love about LM's Book of Nudes is that it includes a cheek, glow, and bronzer veil, as well as a dark espresso shadow that can be used as an eyeliner.  The glow veil is great for inner eye, high cheek or under eyebrow highlighting.  Also, the 'Buff' eyeshadow is the perfect shade for an overall sweep over the eyelids.  One of my favorite shades is Bamboo (luster finish/golden brown shimmer).  I like that the eyeshadows are a good mix of shimmer, matte, and glitter.

All this is encased in a cute faux snakeskin pattern cover.  The only thing this palette is missing is a brush or two like they did for the Luxe Colour Portfolio.  But I'll take the space for a decently sized mirror.  Basically, this palette is practical to take on your holiday travels, because it's complete with just the essentials to create a subtle or dramatic look.

Swatches from left to right:
Sandstone (sateen finish/pale peachy pink),
Tiger's Eye (sequin finish/sparkling chocolate brown),
Baroque (sateen finish/warm terra-cotta),
Fresco (matte finish/neutral beige brown),
Granite (matte finish/smoky gray),
Cocoa Brown (sateen finish/shimmering brown)
Swatches (with flash)
Love the faux snakeskin cover!

This set contains:
- 8 x 0.03 oz Eye Colours in Buff (matte finish/ soft neutral cream), Tiger's Eye (sequin finish/ sparkling chocolate brown), Sandstone (sateen finish/ pale peachy pink), Bamboo (luster finish/ golden brown shimmer), Baroque (sateen finish/ warm terracotta), Fresco (matte finish/ neutral beige brown), Granite (matte finish/ smoky gray), Cocoa Brown (sateen finish/ shimmering brown)
- 1 x 0.04 oz Tightline Cake Liner in Ground Espresso (universal black-brown)
- 3 x 0.02 oz Crème Veils in Bronzer Veil (universal bronze), Cheek Veil (matte rose peach), Glow Veil (radiant neutral beige shimmer)


Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #6 Truth To Go

Taken with Lemeleme app.
Christmas is almost here!  Seriously, where did the time go?!  Well at number six is Old Henriksen's truth to go wipes!  You're thinking wipes for a gift?  I know I would appreciate them, but if you're unsure, this would be a nice supplement to a gift or great stocking stuffer.  These wipes are awesome!  They're great for those of you that hit the gym and need to quickly wipe off your makeup.  They work great for post-workouts too.  I like to use them for touch-ups during the day.  Sometimes I need to change up my eyeshadow or touch up my mascara for happy hour/dinner after work.  It's just easier to use these wipes to wipe the eye makeup off and start again.  The travel size is perfect to take with you on your holiday travels, especially those long flights.

Old Henriksen's truth to go wipes have a citrus scent to them and doesn't leave your face dry .  It's quite refreshing and leaves your face looking and feeling clean.  They really work on the toughest makeup to remove (i.e. mascara).  Save a few drugstore brands, most makeup remover wipes leave that layer of residue that makes you feel your face isn't completely wiped clean.  The label says they're "age-defying"; I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to notice with this claim, but as far as everything else, these wipes get it done - and that's the truth!

They come in a travel size (10 wipes for $6) or the regular size (30 wipes for $15).  You might think they're quite pricey for makeup/cleansing wipse, but I think they're worth the few extra bucks.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Secret Santa with Elfster!

For Potpourri Wednesday, I thought I'd share a really useful website for the holiday season (sorry for posting on Thursday).  The website is, and it's for organizing a Secret Santa with family and friends.  Instead of scheduling a meeting where everyone has to be present to pick a name out of a hat, you just use e-mail addresses.  First, you create an account, then you create the 'Exchange' - participants, date, time, place, monetary limit.  Then you gather all the email addresses and send them.  Once everyone has accepted your invitation to join the Secret Santa exchange (you set a deadline), the names are drawn electronically, and you're notified of the person you got.  This is really useful for those family members who are far away, but plan on coming to your Christmas gathering.

Neat, right?!  It gets better.  You can help your Secret Santa with finding a gift by creating a Wish List, straight from the Elfster website.  If you can't find what you want in their Shop tabs, you can post a link to the gift you like.  You can also say what you don't need/want (i.e. coffee mugs, because you have so many).

As a Secret Santa, you can ask anonymous questions to your person.  You can ask the questions provided or create your own questions (i.e. What are your top 3 favorite stores?).  This site is so awesome; I just wished I had thought of it myself lol.  This year, I'm participating in a Secret Santa exchange with some cousins.  I'm so excited!

And for those of you with smartphones, there's an elfster app!  I downloaded it free for my ipod touch!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #7 True Blue Spa

Taken with Instagram
I'll be honest, Bath and Body Works was my go-to store in high school.  I remember trying on so many scents and spending a lot of allowance money here.  During the holidays, it was definitely my go-to store for last-minute gifts.  It still is actually.  It's one of those stores where you can always find something quick, but yet very useful gifts for family and friends without breaking the bank.  Since my high school days, Bath and Body Works has come a long way in producing quality products at very reasonable prices.  Who doesn't love mixing and matching those anti-bacterial gels and the cases?!

Anyway, holding down the seven spot is Bath and Body Works' True Blue Spa 'Look Ma New Hands' Super-Softening Hand Lotion.  The lotion has a very light refreshing citrus scent.  So for your male friends, the scent is guy-friendly!  It doesn't leave my hands greasy or sticky.  It takes a hot minute for the formula to absorb, but once it does, your hands feel amazing!  Your hands look so polished afterwards!  This is perfect for the wintry months where hands can easily get dry.  It even moisturizes the cuticles, especially when you can't get to a nail salon right away.  I simply can't get enough of this lotion.  This would be a fantastic stocking stuffer.  Check out the holiday gift set.  It's a great deal!

Photo: True Blue Spa Hand Gift Set

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #8 Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3 Piece Set

Next up on my Holiday List at the eight spot is Too Faced Shadow Brushes Essential 3 Piece Set!  This set features a Liner/Smudger, Lid/Smoker, and a Crease/Blender.  It also includes instructions on how to use each brush.

At the retail price of $39 (plus tax), that's about $13 per brush.  If you frequent stores like Sephora or Ulta, professional shadow brushes can cost anywhere between $14-20 each (more if you go for the fancier collections)!  So I think this is a steal.  They come in a cute slim case, so it keeps them separate from the rest of your brushes.  In fact, the case can fit about 1-2 more brushes depending on their size(s).  As you can see from the photos, the case can stand alone on your dresser for easy access!

Too Faced exclusively uses "Teddy Bear Hair", which are synthetic hair bristles that are super soft and blends your favorite eyeshadows really well.  I used all three on Thanksgiving day, and I thought they blended my shadows really well.  What's great about synthetic bristles is that they are easier for applying and blending, as well as easier to clean!
Here are the three pretty brushes with instructions on how to use
them with your eyeshadows.

The case is adorable that you probably just need a cute bow and it's ready to give away (or keep for yourself).  This is also perfect for your holiday travels!

I used the brushes for the time getting ready for Thanksgiving 2011.
I forgot to take a photo of my eyelids, but I just thought I'd share this
photo anyway.  Gobble gobble!
Taken with Instagram

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday 2011 - #10 Too Faced Borderline

Photo credit:

The holiday season is here!  This year, I'm going to start a Top Ten Holiday Makeup Wish List for you readers looking for gifts, stocking stuffers or wanting to add some new makeup products to your own Wish List.  Starting, at number 10...Too Faced Borderline Anti-Feathering Lip Pencil.

I think this works really well for that bright red or pink holiday lipstick.  When those colors smear or wear away, it's so obvious because the color is such a standout.  It's happened to me where I was the lipstick wore off, but the lip liner still stayed, leaving me with an outlined lip with no lip color filling.  And if you're not big on buying a matching lip liner for every color of lipstick, lip gloss, or lip stain you own, Borderline can act as a universal lip liner! 

This can be purchased at your local Ulta or Sephora stores (keep in mind that not all Sephora stores carry Too Faced, but they're sold on their online store!)

Holiday 2011 - #9 A Long Lasting Liquid Eye Liner

  At number NINE we have...Kat Von D's Tatoo Liner in Trooper.

     Eyeliners are a staple in the world of makeup.  Even when I think I've found "the one", as a makeup junkie, I'm always looking for what's new in the market.  Well, right now, I think Kat Von D's Tatoo Liner in Trooper (ink black) is one of the best liquid liners.  It has a fine tip, and the liquid liner is absorbed really well in the tip - as in not too inky or too dry.  It's well pigmented with a matte finish.  I've owned mine since the summer, and the tip has yet to show signs of drying out (which is common in liquid liners over time).  One of the best things about it is how long it lasts.  I wore it all day at work, then went to the gym, and the liner didn't budge at all.

After a morning of errands!
Kat Von D's Tatoo Liner is easy to apply.  With its fine felt tip, applying a thin line is very achievable, but it's also easy to thicken the line for the cat eye look.  It also dries pretty fast.  Just a few hand fanning and I'm ready to finish my eye makeup.

Taken with Instagram

For beginner liquid liner users, lightly apply an eye pencil in the same color as your liquid liner.  Using the pencil line as a guide, apply the liquid liner on top of it.  This is a great way to get the hang of applying a liquid line.

I'm keeping this post short and sweet, mainly because it's a solid product and worth every dollar!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Going Mad - Halloween Edition

Image Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Happy Halloween!  Even if it's a weekday, I hope everyone enjoys or has enjoyed some Halloween festivities.  This year, I didn't go to any Halloween party or any bar crawl.  But in the last two weeks, I attended a Mad Men TV Party and the 4th Annual Silver Spring Zombie Event.  For those not familiar with the Mad Men series on AMC, the stories take place in the [early] 1960s, mainly in Manhattan at an advertising agency, where Don Draper (Jon Hamm) is the biggest ad man in the business.  In this series, the characters truly capture the essence of the roles of men and women in the workplace and family life, as well as the iconic fashion of the 1960s.

Image Credit: Frank Ockenfels/AMC
Since I decided to go a little last minute with my cousin, it left me a week to put together a 1960s outfit.  Luckily, the office fashion styles of the 1960s can still be seen today with just a bit modernization - the form fitting pencil skirt, the cardigans, the stiletto pumps.  I used a satin black form fitting (through the hips) cocktail dress.  I topped it off with a jewel-toned yellow cardigan, and a black and white silk scarf from my mom's closet.  I used my mom's vintage framed Ferragamo handbag and her 1960s Dior sunglasses.  I also used my Stella Dot Bella Fleur earrings that I won from a Facebook contest just a week earlier (perfect timing!).  My mom also had a pillbox hat, but I didn't have enough time to pin it down to my hair.  Everything was from my or my mother's closet!

In the 1960s, their makeup was often understated and simple.  From watching the shows, I noticed that their makeup is very matte, unlike today, where we love smokey eyes and everything shimmered.  Heavy eyeliner only on the upper lid and a matte red lipstick are two noticeable features of their makeup.  Let's not forget the hair teasing lol.

After reading a few articles and looking at photos and videos on Mad Men fashion, below is what I came up with.  The only thing I bought was the tarte matte lip tint in a mauve/brick red shade called Envy.  Keep in mind that I didn't do any trial runs.  I could have made it a bit bolder for camera-sake and teased my hair before putting it in a bun, but again, no time!  What do you think? :)

From my makeup collection:
Foundation: Bare Minerals Golden Tan
Concealer: Benefit Boi-ing #3
Cheeks: Laura Mercier Second Skin Blush in Lush Nectarine
Eyeliner: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner in Black
Eyeshadow: Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Palette (applied lightly) and Urban Decay (applied on the edge)
Lips: Tarte Matte Lip Tint in Envy

Then I topped it off with Bare Mineral Veil and Urban Decay De-Slick Setting Spray
Me with a very strong Manhattan drink @ the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse.

Have a safe and fun Halloween!  Bring on the holidays :)

Just some photos of the makeup I used. :)

Bobbi Brown Surf and Sand Palette

Foundation, Blush, Concealer,
Mineral Veil


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Have You Cleaned Them Lately?

I'll admit that I do not clean my brushes weekly; in fact, even with a Sephora brush cleaner in my bathroom cabinet, I went almost two months without cleaning!  I'd clean one or two here and there, especially if I was trying new products, but it was not routine.  Since the Spring, I've been in the habit of cleaning at least every other week.  I do it on a Sunday, when I spend most of the day catching up on shows and doing laundry after church and brunch.

Last week, I finally finished my brush cleaner from Sephora, so I was in search of a new one.  I went to Ulta because I had a 20% coupon good for my entire purchase; I also had restock and wanted to try some new products.  I asked one of the floating makeup associates on the floor for her recommendation.  She said baby shampoo.  It works well for both natural and synthetic brushes.  Baby shampoo, in general, has less chemicals than "adult" shampoo and even some of those brush cleansers.  In fact, I compared the main ingredients of my empty Sephora bottle with , and they had one common ingredient.  In addition, the Sephora cleanser actually contained one type of parabens*, while my Johnson & Johnson baby shampoo does not.

I used Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo with Lavender last Sunday early afternoon.  Baby shampoo works great!  In fact, I think it works better at getting any gunk at the very bottom of the bristles.  Baby shampoo is cheap and available at local drugstores and grocery stores.  No need to make a special trip to a makeup counter!  I actually use baby shampoo once every season for about 2-3 weeks, just to give my hair a break from my normal routine shampoo or before switching brands of shampoo.  I used something I already have!  This also justified my purchase of a new pressed powder, lol. :)

Stop by your local drugstore or grocery store and pick up some baby shampoo!
Here was my routine:

1. Rinse the brushes with lukewarm water.
2. Apply a very small amount of shampoo to each of the brushes**.
3. Give each brush a good rub and squeeze - fan out then bunch up the bristles a few times too.
4. Rinse suds with lukewarm to cool water until clear water is running through the brushes.
5.  Squeeze out excess water.  Use a paper towel(s) to help.
6.  Fan out to the brushes' natural position, then lay out to dry on a hand towel.
7.  Before going to bed, turn the brushes over and place them onto a clean dry hand towel (or use a different side of the first hand towel as long it's a dry side).

*In world of cosmetics, paraben has become sort of a taboo.  Parabens are used in cosmetics as a preservative, but according to some medical/health journals, they have been associated with cancers.  Makeup brands like to advertise their products as paraben-free.  It definitely is nice when they can do that, but based on an FDA report, parabens are safe at levels up to 25%.  Most cosmetic products that contain parabens list them near or at the bottom of the main ingredients, which is a sign that it's probably not at levels of 25%.  If you want to FDA's summary, click here

**Instead of applying shampoo directly onto the brushes, get a small cup and add the appropriate amount of shampoo that you'll need for all your brushes.  After Step 1, just lightly dip the brushes into your cup, and follow through with steps 3 thru 7.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Kick off the first weekend of Fall 2011

I'm finally getting into the swing of things for the Fall semester, so expect a little more activity on the blog.  Sorry, for leaving you hanging.  Anyway, I thought I'd keep this post short and sweet.  Below are a few deals as well some new products to check out as we officially start the Fall season!

1.  Chanel is offering complimentary shipping (no minimum purchase!).  Check out their Blue Jeans nail polish line.  I really like the Blue Rebel shade!  Promo code is 0911WELCOMEFALL

2. Bath and Body Works has a 4 for $15 of 6 for $20 on Foaming Hand Soaps.  My new favorite scent for the Fall - Orchard Leaves!  The scent is a blend of apple, cinnamon, and cider.  It's very refreshing, crisp like the autumn air; any guy(s) in the house will appreciate it because it's not too girly or fruity.  The discount is a great deal, especially if you have several rooms in your house that need restocking for the holiday season!

3. Kate Spade is having FREE ground shipping (no minimum amount!).  Check out their new lipstick line, Supercalifragilipstick!  Catchy name and attractive shades!,default,sc.html

Celebrate the Fall season by treating yourself to something that will carry you through the Fall season!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

True Blood Limited Edition Lip Tint

Are you a "True Blood" fan?  Well, I personally am not an obsessed fan, but I do follow the show whenever I can.  Whether you're a fan or not, I really love Tarte's True Blood Limited Edition collection.  I picked the LipSurgence lip tint a few weeks ago, because I was in search of a red shade, and the one in this collection looked appealing.  I have to admit, despite being obsessed with makeup, I've never really been "comfortable" enough to wear bright red lipstick, but I thought I'd start with subtle red shade and work my up to the bright reds.  
The True Blood lip tint is perfect for a starter red lipwearer.  Because it's a lip tint, the red color isn't so bold unless you want it to.  By adding a few more layers, you can get it to a bright/deep red.  It's perfect from going from day to night.  It's also very moisturizing and with it's "skinvigorating" ingredients, it helps maintain healthy lips!  A definitely must-have in the makeup bag!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Excited over X'ed Out (Updated!)

This past Spring, I won a Giveaway on a friend's fashion blog, My Fashion Juice.  One of the items in the Giveaway was X'ed Out Cream by Strip: Ministry of Waxing NYC.  This stuff is amazing!  I use this after using one of Bliss Ingrown Eliminating Pads (my next post!).  It does not contain alcohol, which can irritate sensitive skin.  But it does contain ingredients such as Bromelain, a pineapple enzyme that prevents inflammation; Vitamin A, which prevents ingrown hairs by opening the follicles; and tea tree to calm irritated skin.  It looks like a thick product like a lotion (which you are not supposed to use on newly waxed areas!).  But when applied, it's more like a light topical cream that glides on easily on the skin.  It even has a sweet scent to it, but not like perfume (because that would contain alcohol).  I applied a little to newly shaved areas on my leg, and it works great there too.  This is definitely a MUST-HAVE.  Post-Brazilian waxing, I applied the product twice a day every other day.

Unfortunately, you can't buy this at a local salon or beauty store.  I guess I'll be making a trip to NYC soon, seeing as I plan on getting more Brazilians/bikini waxes in the future.  If anyone knows where this product can be bought, please let me know!  Or maybe my NYC friends can send some down to Maryland. ;)

OK, I totally overlooked the fact that there's a SHOP ONLINE link on their website.  So, I retract my statement that you can only buy in their salon in New York City.  X'ed Out is just a few clicks away!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bare It All

For a couple years now, I've always been a bikini line waxing gal.  Earlier this summer, I decided to take the plunge and try Brazilian waxing!  A little nervous about it, I must have read almost every website about Brazilian - pre-waxing, post-waxing, health concerns, prices, best waxing salons, etc.  I ended up at Bluemercury in Bethesda with an esthetician, who literally loves to wax!  She promised me that once I get one Brazilian, I'll be back for it again.  Low and behold, I was back after six weeks.  Bluemercury uses a "gentle poetic-lycon aloe wax from Australia" (, which isn't burning hot, and when it hardens pulls everything it touches in one smooth, quick pull.  Kudos to my esthetician who really knows her skill.  And when I went the second time, it really was a lot less painful than the first.

Some tips I've learned along the way:
1.  Don't trim too short or else the wax won't stick and avoid shaving (if that was normal maintenance routine)
2.  Research salons that perform bikini/Brazilian waxing professionally (a.k.a. make sure they are a licenses Esthetician, not your neighborhood nail salon that just happens to have waxing as a service)
3.  If you're nervous about the pain, start off with a bikini wax, like I did.
4.  Use post-waxing care products, such as exfoliating pads and anti-inflammatory ointment
5.  Avoid exercise for at least a day
6.  Don't wear super tight clothing (panties, jeans) for a few days.  Keep it airy!

Websites to look at:

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Tinted Moisturizer For All

Enjoying the outdoors during the summer months will give you some kind of tan whether it was intentional or not.  And a tan creates a slight or a dramatic mismatch with your mainstay foundation.  I found the perfect solution - Origins' VitaZing SPF 15 energy boosting moisturizer.  It's a tinted moisturizer that adjusts to your current skin tone. Whether you got a little tanned or 10 shades darker, this moisturizer will blend right in with your tan of the moment.  It will carry you through the summer months until you can go back to your original foundation.  Perfect for summer because it also has SPF 15!
I've used VitaZing right after an afternoon at the pool, when I was in a rush to get to another place afterwards.  It provides a light coverage, which is fine because you don't want to mask your awesome tan, right?  But if you're worried about concealing some imperfections, I'd follow with a finishing powder or a bronzer.  If I need more of a matte finish, I use Origins' Brighter By Nature SPF 30, which is a skin tone correcting foundation!  Pairs well with VitaZing!  So take the worry and extra spending on several foundations during the summer and purchase Origins VitaZing!

P.S. I tried my best to capture myself with the VitaZing on my face with my little Canon digital powershot.  It may not be the most accurate, but, hopefully you can get an idea of the coverage VitaZing provides!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tarte's Park Ave Princess

Tarte's Park Ave Princess is a must have for your summer makeup collection.  It's a light yellow golden brown matte bronzer.  Wait, it gets better...It's waterproof!  And when you add the finishing touch of Urban Decay's De-Slick setting spray, the bronzer is practically unmovable!  I apply it with my Sonia Kashuk's Couture Multipurpose Blush/Powder Brush (read my post here!  Again, I love tarte because of all the organic ingredients that they use in their products.  Because of its matte finish, this is great to use if you're going for a no-make-up look.  And how cute is the compact?!
Applying bronzer

-Using a a fairly fanned out brush or a Kabuki brush, apply upwards between your eyebrows and fan out around the edge of your face.
-Continue around the edge of your face.
-Lightly apply underneath your blush. and continue to outline your face.
-The icing on the cake: Brush some bronzer in the area underneath your chin/jaw, basically where your face ends and neck starts. You'll look great in photos, especially those photos when your head is turned at different/awkward angles.  The bronzer slims the chin/jaw area.
-Any excess of bronzer on the brush, apply lightly on the nose and chin :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

JewelMint - my new obsession!

Photo credit: JewelMint
I actually came across this website in one of my Lucky magazines.  I signed up but hadn't made my first purchase until this month!  I think it's an ingenious idea from Kate Bosworth and her stylist Cher Coulter.  As a member, you pay $29.99 for any jewelry on their website - earrings, necklaces, bracelets!  Your showroom is personalized to your taste based on a quiz/survey that you take when you sign up.  Every month, JewelMint will send you an e-mail to inform you that your showroom is ready.  As a member, the membership is $29.99 per month (basically one piece of jewelry); but, if you don't find anything you like in your showroom, you can skip that month for no charge!  The membership doesn't start until you make your first purchase.  What I like most about JewelMint is the "personalized showroom" of unique pieces.  So your showroom this month might not be the same next month.

Ok, you might think, "I don't need to buy jewelry every month. Why should I pay for this exclusive membership that obligates me to buy jewelry?"  Again, JewelMint allows you to skip a month if you don't find anything in your showroom.  Membership includes FREE shipping and simple returns.  I'm still trying to find out if there's a max number of times you can skip.  Another way of looking at it is to think of your circle of relatives (mothers, daughters, niece) and friends.  And then, think of the the special occasions that you buy them a little something - birthdays, graduations, holidays (i.e. Christmas).  I, myself, can think of a handful of people and a handful of occasions I could buy a piece of jewelry.  Not to mention, the times I want to give myself a gift *wink*.

As a member, I'm personally inviting all of you to give it a try!  Here's my personal invite link and if you're not sure today, you can find the same link under the Links section to the right :)

I just ordered the Supernova Earrings a day and a half ago, and I even had a discount code!  I can't wait to get them!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Urban Decay's De-Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray

Last year, I reviewed Urban Decay's All Nighter Setting Spray, and I still love the product, but I thought I'd try another one in their line of setting sprays.  UD's De-Slick Oil Control Setting Spray is targeted for those who have oily skin (that's me!).  The product has a fresh scent, like a very light hairspray scent.  It absorbs and dries very quickly that you only feel the product for maybe two to three seconds!  After that, I don't feel like I added another layer of product.  Very lightweight!  My makeup stays put quite well with this product on, and in the summer months, I think this is a must-have!

I also tried De-Slick as a primer; it works pretty well!  I applied it in a small area on my face to see if there would be a difference between using an actual primer or the setting spray.  A 2-in-1 product!  If you're going to use it as your main primer, I recommend using a sponge to spread the product evenly.  Because the mist dries up really quickly, you have to have that sponge ready to gently spread/blot the product evenly on your face!  I'm definitely a primer user, so I won't be using this De-Slick on a regular basis, but if I'm trying to consolidate my makeup for traveling or if I'm in a hurry and had to grab just a few items to apply while commuting, I'd definitely consider making this my primer/setting spray!

1. Spray about 6 inches away from face in a 'T' or 'X' motion.
2. Spray about 2-3 times.
3. If you feel like you sprayed too much mist in one area, grab a sponge and blot excess product around face.
4. If using as a primer, spray product and spread product using a sponge.  A Kabuki brush would work too, but it should clean of other products; thus, you would need to buy at least one Kabuki brush.  Sponges are way cheaper!  It's up to you :)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Enter to WIN a Melie Bianco Handbag!

Looking for a fabulous handbag?  Here's your chance to win one Melie Bianco Madison Lock + Key MINI Bag!  Visit my friend's fashion blog, My Fashion Juice to get the details (look at the photos!) and to enter (sponsored by Silvia's Shop!).  It's super easy!  There's even the chance to submit additional entries!

My Fashion Juice Melie Bianco Giveaway

Giveaway ends July 12, 2011.  US Residents only.

Benefit's CORALista

Photo credits:
Before becoming a a fan of tarte's Amazonian clay blush, I was a loyal fan of NARS and Benefit blushes.  I figured I'd backtrack and give you a review of Benefit's CORALista, before I toss it in the trash (It's about three years old and haven't used it in months).  I'm a huge fan of anything peachy-pink or pinky-peach, mainly because it works well with my light brown (yellow undertone) skin.  I was attracted to Benefit's CORALista because, like their Hoopla, I loved the box!  Yes, I fall for anything that looks pretty on the outside.  As much as the box is so pretty, its design isn't the most efficient.  One too many parts.  I like things to be simple like a compact with a hidden brush tucked underneath the powder.  Now if you look at the photo, they've made two new adjustment - adding a hinge to the cover so there's less separate parts and a mirror!

But more on what it's inside.  The color is amazing!  Not only is the color amazing, but it was a fresh scent to it.  I loved using it in the spring and summer months.  One of its flaws is that it's not a long-wear type of blush, especially once I was outside in the heat.  Makeup is never really perfect once you're in the heat, but somehow we are always hopeful, lol.  I do like that the box comes with it's own brush, so it's perfect to carry with you for a quick touch-up; but, the second flaw is that the brush is quite stiff.  Also, I find that when applied, it looks like its own separate layer; it doesn't blend well with the foundation.

For the budget-minded beauty junkies, CORALista is $28 and comes in a box, albeit a very cute box (with a brush).  My new blush, tarte's 24-hour Amazonian clay costs $25 and comes in a compact with a mirror (no brush).  Not a huge difference in price.

I'm still a huge fan of Benefit cosmetics, and their boxed powders are good - for example, Hoola is one of my favorite matte bronzers!  I just happened to find something better for an everyday blush.  I hope Benefit can find a way to make their blushes last longer and blend better with the other face makeup.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

LIFTLAB Skin Regeneration

A few months ago, I was one of the winners of a Spring Giveaway hosted by My Fashion Juice!  It included a number of awesome items, including one LIFTLAB Skin Regeneration Lift & Fix High Potency Solution.  I hadn't heard of LIFTLAB until I received my prize.   The scientists behind LIFTLAB discovered a protein found in plants and animals in the Arctic.  This protein helps these organisms survive the harsh cold and dry climates of the arctic environment.  They call it the Cell Protection Protein, and combined with antioxidants and vitamins, this solution does quite a lot!  If you want to read more about the studies and history of LIFTLAB, click here!  The Lift & Fix is basically a serum that helps protect your skin from the elements, like harsh climates and UV rays, improves your skin's natural barrier, and promotes skin cell renewal.  I'm turning 28 soon, and although I don't really feel compelled

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vera Bradley's Fall Collection 2011

Two weeks ago, I received an invitation to attend Tiara Galleries' Vera Bradley Fall Collection Launch Party!  Of course, they used pretty VB stationery for the invitations.  What's even more exciting about this particular launch party is that the daughter of Vera Bradley and Brand Ambassador, Joan Bradley Reedy, will be a guest at this Rockville store, and I'll have the chance to meet her!  What's even more exciting is that I can finally make it to a launch party!  I've racked up so many days of leave; I have no summer classes getting in the way; and, the event is happening just two days after my birthday!  Hopefully, I'll get some birthday money to spend *wink*.  They've asked guests to bring our oldest VB patterned item.