Saturday, June 29, 2013

My First Beauty Blog Giveaway!

 Here we gooooo!  I'm super excited for this first giveaway!  I'm hoping to reach out and thank those of you that already read my blog and bring in some new friends too!  I will try and do a few of these this summer.  

Here are the item's available in the FREE giveaway:
  • Essie Summer 2013 Mini Collection (colors include Naughty Nautical, Sunday Funday, The More the Merrier, and Full Steam Ahead)  You can see Naughty Nautical and Sunday Funday worn here in one of my blog posts.
  • Bath & Body Works Shimmer & Shea Body Lotion in Japanese Cherry Blossom
  • NYC Quick Dry Nail Polish in Chinatown (deep shimmery purple)
Here are the guidelines:
  • You must be 18 years or older.  If you are under 18, you must get parent permission to give me your mailing address.
  • Use the Rafflecopter section below to enter the contest.  The more you do, the more times you are entered.  *Note:  You can share the contest on Facebook and Twitter daily.  The other items can only be done once.
  • The contest starts Saturday 6/29/2013 and ends 7/10/2013 at 12:00 AM PDT.
  • Winner will be contacted by 7/12/2013.  If winner does not respond within a week, a new winner will be chosen.
  • Have fun!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you everyone!  Share this with your family, friends, and co-workers! 

*****NOTE:  This contest is NOT international.  I will only mail within the United States for this particular giveaway.  Thank you.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Here's another edition of the products I've used up in the last few months.  :)  I hope to go through a lot this summer.  These are my honest opinions and whether I will be purchasing these products after this use.  If you have any further questions on my experience with them, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

Clarisonic Refreshing Gel Cleanser for normal/oily skin with bearberry scent.  I received this with my Clarisonic Mia when I got it as a gift.  It is a very large bottle of face wash and it took me over a year to go through.  I suppose I could have used this as a body wash too...  It smelled okay.  It did leave my face clean, but it didn't clear up any acne or moisturize my face.  Though, it isn't advertised to do those things either.  It was nice, but I won't be repurchasing this.
Philosophy Purity Made Simple face wash.  I received this little sample in a Birchbox a while back.  This stuff is amazing.  It leaves your face feeling soft, clean, moisturized, and it cleared up my skin!  It has a clean scent to it.  I don't love the scent, but the product itself works wonders.  It was wonderful, and I was sad when it ran out.  I will be purchasing this in the future.
Biore Blemish Fighting Ice Cleanser.  I used this foil sample on my most recent vacation.  I save up all my foil packages for vacations.  Unfortunately, I only got three uses out of this and it wasn't enough for me to determine if it really clears up complextion or if it worked well long term with my skin.  It did leave my face super smooth.  The most interesting thing with this product is that it leaves your face tingle-y and cold for several minutes after you use it.  I'm not sure I liked that sensation or how it added to clearing/cleaning my face.  It also had a very weird smell that I can't describe; I wasn't keen to it.  I probably will not be purchasing this.

Skintimate Mouisturizing Shave Gel in Strawberry Tangerine.  I have been using this shave gel for years and years.  This is really the only scent I like.  It has a very rich lather and helps for a clean/smooth shave.  I will be repurchasing this.
Whish Shave Cream in Blueberry.  This was a product I received in a Birchbox and the blueberry scent is exclusive to Birchbox.  This stuff smells incredible.  If they made this scent in a candle, I would buy a dozen.  It smells like the best blueberry muffin/oatmeal you've ever smelled.  Unfortunately, I won't be smelling this any time soon because it was a 'no-go' for me.  It wasn't very creamy and didn't provide a good close shave.  Bye bye little blueberry delightful smell.  I was hoping I would love this, but I will not be repurchasing this.

Bath & Body Works Peach Citrus Supercharged Body Scrub.  It doesn't say, but I'm almost positive this was a sugar scrub.  It smelled okay,  but I wasn't a fan of this scrub.  It wasn't that it was too gritty or that it dissolved to fast, I can't pinpoint it, but I just didn't love it.  I can say that it didn't leave my skin feeling luscious like other scrubs have in the past and it wasn't very moisturizing.  You know you've found gold when you have a good exfoliator that scrubs and leaves your skin soft and moisturized afterwards.  This isn't that kind of scrub...  I have another bottle of this in another scent, but after that, I will not be repurchasing this product.
Lush's Rub Rub Rub shower scrub.  This product is one of my holy grail products.  It is a cheaper alternative to their Ocean Salt scrub.  It has a scent that is oddly like a cleaning product scent, but I love it!  It is a salt based scrub and it cleans, clears, and leaves my skin smooth.  I use this on my body and my face.  I am already on a new tub.  :)  I will be purchasing this again and again and again.

Pantene Pro-V Restore Beautiful Lengths Shampoo in Breakage Defense.  I had gotten a coupon for a free full size shampoo and conditioner for this line of hair care.  I'm almost finished with the conditioner too.  The shampoo was okay.  I have others I like better, but this would be a good switch for in between using other shampoos.  It lathered nicely and left my hair feeling clean.  It wasn't a SUPER good cleansing shampoo, but it was good for just a normal daily hair wash.  It did okay with helping to cut down on the split ends.  I might repurchase this some day.
Dove Shampoo in Nourishing Oil Care.  Dove is probably my favorite drugstore brand of hair care.  I love their shampoos, conditioners, and hair sprays.  Their hair care leaves my hair feeling clean, soft, and full of nutrients.  This shampoo cleans well and leaves my hair feeling wonderful.  I will definitely be repurchasing this.
John Frieda Root Awakening Conditioner in Breakage Prone.  When I first bought the shampoo and conditioner in this line, I LOVED it.  It was probably the most that I had ever loved a shampoo/conditioner combo before.  I loved the smell and the way it made my hair feel.  The more and more I used this, the less and less I loved it.  It just didn't seem to continue having the same effect on my hair that it once did.  My hair went from being voluminous, soft, and shiny, to being my normal hair.  I wonder if I spread using these products out in between other products if that would make a difference.  I'm going to take a break from this product, but I may repurchase it in the future.
Fekkai Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner.  I think I got these in a Target beauty bag.  I used these on vacation.  They have a flower-y smell to them that I wasn't impressed with, but other than that these were nice to wash my hair with.  They left my hair super soft and manageable for the few days I used it.  I might repurchase these if there was a deal, other than that, I'll probably stick to my Dove.  

Fabulous Fruit Body Butter in coconut.  I'm not sure where this is from because I got it as a gift.  It isn't super moisturizing and is quite watery.  I love the smell of coconut and this has a wonderful scent.  I ended up using this on my feet with socks while I slept to moisturize my feet.  I think there are better body creams out there and since I don't know I would even buy this, I will not be purchasing it.
Bath & Body Works Lotion in Fresh Picked Strawberry.  Bath & Body Works lotions are okay.  I got this as a free sample one time when I walked in.  I think I have the apple one in my last empties.  I did not like this smell at all.  It smelled so sweet that I felt sticky.  The lotion wasn't sticky, but that's how strong the smell was.  I would not want to smell like this at all.  Not my cup of tea.  The lotion itself was like a typical Bath & Body Works lotion.  Not super absorbent, but gets the job done.  I will not be purchasing this.

Sampar Ultra Hydrating Fluid.  This is a facial moisturizer that I received in a Birchbox.  I LOVED this stuff.  It is like a very liquidy lotion.  I would put this on my face after I washed it in the evening time.  It smells like rose (which I'm not a huge fan of), but other than that, I liked this product.  It did moisturize very well and it left my face super soft.  It is a little pricey for the full size product, so I'm looking for cheaper alternatives.
Target's Up & Up Moisturizing Lotion in Radiant Skin with SPF 15.  This is Target's version of the Aveeno Positively Radiant Skin Daily Moisturizer in SPF 15.  I use this as my daily facial moisturizer.  I make sure that I use SPF on my face daily and certain times of the year I get really bad dry skin on my face where I need a good moisturizer.  This alone didn't get rid of my dry skin, but it helped a little.  I recently purchased the actual Aveeno product since this has run out, and I like the Aveeno product better; it is a lot thinner of a lotion and easier to rub in.
Befine Food Skin Care Night Cream.  This is a night cream I received yet again from Birchbox.  This is a very nice light night time moisturizer.  This is very easy to rub in and a little goes a long way.  It was an okay moisturizer.  While this was a good product, I like other products better and I probably will not be purchasing this.

 (LEFT to RIGHT):  
Pangea Organics Facial Cream in Nigerian Ginger with Lavender & Thyme.  This did have a strong scent of lavender. I don't really like the scent of lavender, but it wasn't too bad.  This was a thin facial cream and it was pretty moisturizing for a daily moisturizer.  I only got two uses out of this, so I didn't get enough use to decide if I would use this on a regular basis.  From the two uses I did get, it was okay, but nothing to brag about.
Ole Henricksen Truth Cream Advanced Hydration with Vitamin C.  I got this foil package at Sephora with a purchase I made.  I cannot review the effectiveness or quality of this because the scent was so strong that it made me gag and I couldn't keep it on.  It is a weird citrus-y scent that is VERY pungent.  I washed my face after about 10 minutes hoping the scent would disappear.  I will not be buying this. 
Sarah McNamara Miracle Skin Transformer with SPF 20.  I got this as an add-on to a purchase I made from Birchbox.  It claims to hydrate, prime, enhance, mattify, and protect your skin.  I will say it was nice, but I won't say it was a miracle.  This was enough for one use and I have one more foil package.  It was nice to try, but I doubt I will be buying the full size.

Stila Smudge Stick Water Proog Eye Liner in peacock.  I got this in a Birchbox a while back.  I didn't use it much simply because I'm not too wild with my makeup and teal eyeliner is a little bold for me.  I opened this up the other day and it was all dried up.  The lid was on tight, so I'm not sure how it dried out, but it did.  I probably wouldn't have used this much, so I'm not too bent out of shape about it.  When it wasn't dry, it was smooth and creamy and had great lasting power.  I would probably repurchase this in a different color.
Stila Forever Your Curl Mascara  in black.  I got this in a Birchbox a while back, and I really like this mascara!  This has a tiny little brush.  If you want to see pictures, check out my post when I got it here.  It was the perfect bottom lash mascara because the little brush got all the little lashes.  It made my top lashes look kind of stringy.  It did hold a curl like the name says.  I would purchase the full size.
Benefit Bad Gal Lash.  This is was in my last empties post.  I still have a few of these little guys left and I could not be happier.  This mascara is amazing.  It is voluminous, it doesn't clump, and it makes my lashes look full.  I love, love, love it.  I will be repurchasing this when I run out of my little samples.

Urban Decay All Nighter Long Lasting Makeup Setting Spray.  This stuff is incredible.  I bought it last summer, and only used it for special occasions.  Now that summer is here, I bought the full size of one of these and I use it more often.  This keeps your makeup in place all day long, even when you sweat.  I have already bought the full size of this.
Orofluido Elixer.  This is a hair oil I got in a Birchbox.  It was nice.  It has a hint of vanilla in the scent.  This hair oil leaves your hair soft and shiny.  I would use it on my hair both damp or dry.  I liked it alot, but I liked my Amika hair oil better.  I might repurchase this if I had a coupon or a special deal on it.
E.O.S. Lip Balm  in strawberry.  I have managed to collect a few of these.  This one was in my purse and I used it ALL the time.  I currently am using the raspberry pomegranate one and I have to admit the strawberry one is the best.  This is a fun product and it leaves your lips moisturized.  I don't think these have SPF in them which is the only thing I would change about them if I could.  If I didn't already have more of these, I would be repurchasing it. 

Crest Vivid 3D White Toothpaste in Radiant Mint.  This is my go to toothpaste and I think it was in my last empties video too.  It is a thick toothpaste that cleans a whitens well.  I haven't used another toothpaste in years and I don't see myself switching any time soon.  I will be repurchasing this.

Well, there we go!  That took a while...  I hope these short reviews helped you out or gave you some good ideas about the products and whether they are good or not. 

What are some products you've used up lately?  Good/bad?

-polish. impress. repeat.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Essie's Naughty Nautical Collection

For my birthday last week, I got a few of the Essie Summer 2013 Naughty Nautical collection.  Here are two of them that I am currently wearing.  These are almost kind of jelly-like polishes with a bit of silver/grey shimmer.  I really love the collection as a whole, but there where a few I probably wouldn't wear myself.

The coral color is Sunday Funday and the teal one I used for my accent nail is Naughty Nautical.  These are not fully opaque, but not quite sheer.  That's why I said they are almost a little jelly like.  I used two coats and the formula was great. 

Here are some pictures in natural light and in the direct sun light. 

What summer collections have you been eyeing/trying?

-polish. impress. repeat.

My First Ipsy Bag! June 2013

I gave in and signed up for Ipsy.  I know when this company first started, they were getting a lot of negative reviews with things being broken, poor quality, cheap products, expired products, and bad selection.  They revamped their company from what I've seen in the last several months and I thought I'd give it a go.  There have been some really great products I've seen others getting in the last few months.  I first signed up for Birchbox years ago wanting to get make-up products.  I've discovered that I actually enjoy the skin care products more and have learned to appreciate what moisturizers, cleansers, scrubs, and serums can do for skin.  Ipsy is more focused on make-up than Birchbox is.  I am interested to see if I enjoy getting more make-up products. 

Ipsy is also a $10 a month subscription.  If you are interested in joining, here's the link to their website:  

Ipsy is sent in a hot pink bubble wrap bag.  The theme for this bag was 'Into the Wild' and the little bag matches it perfectly!  You also get a card with all the brands that were sent out and discounts that you can get off Ipsy's website.  Not all of these brands are sent to every person.  You get 4-5 items.

First up is a full size cream blush from NYX in Bronze Goddess.  It blends nicely and I'm happy I got a bronzer instead of a typical blush color.  I don't have many bronzers and this will be fun to try out this summer.  The formula felt fine and I like that it has the tiniest bit of shimmer.

Next up is a full size lip liner pencil from Starlooks in the color Bare.  This is a taupe color and while it is pretty, I don't know that I'll be using this.  I don't have any taupe lip colors and I don't think this is a good color for me.

I also recieved a full size highlighting pencil from Chella.  I am so excited to use this!  I have only used eye shadows as highlighters and it will be nice to use an actual pencil product! 

I'm pretty sure this is full size.  This is a glitter cream eyeshadow palette  from J Cat.  I have never heard of this brand or product, but I'm not sure I'll be using this either.  The colors are pretty, but I'm not a fan of chunky glitter for my face... not since junior high anyways. 

This product is the most interesting of the bunch.  It is a fully size gel eyeliner from Caylin in the color iron.  The brush is connected the the top of the lid.  I don't really use gel eyeliner, but I'll have to give this a go and see what I think of it.

Overall, I am impressed that these were all full size products (from what I could tell).  The little bag was adorable, but I know after I get one each month, I'm going to need to find something to do with all of them.  I haven't heard of most of these brands, but that doesn't mean they won't be great products.  I'll keep my subscription going and see what else comes from Ipsy.

What are your experiences with Ipsy/Glam Bag?

-polish. impress. repeat.

Color Club - London Calling

I received Color Club's London Calling from my June Birchbox.  It is a Birchbox exclusive color for their Wanderlust collection.  If you are interested in getting them, they are on Birchbox's website here.  The colors are gorgeous pastel neons.  There is lavendar, coral, off-white, and this mint green.  I LOVE the color and wore it during my vacation to San Francisco last week.  I got many compliments on it!

I used two coats.  It is very creamy and opaque and I didn't have to put white underneath it to get that 'neon kick'.  I really liked it.  The only down fall is that it 'cracked' after a few days.  Some polishes peel and others just crack.  It stayed put on my nails, it just had little lines throughout it.  Other than than, I really like this polish.

P.S.  This is one of those colors that makes you look super tan.  Bonus!

What bright/neon colors are you loving this summer?

-polish. impress. repeat.