A Lovely You – Makeup Tips for Every Woman

This is the type of blog post I hate writing. The “sorry I’ve been neglecting this blog for so long, but…” posts, where it just sounds like a bunch of excuses that don’t really mean anything. So I’m not going to make any excuses. I am just going to say that I’ve been planning on taking this blog in a little bit of a different direction – more reviews, more photos, swatches, etc. This will take a little bit of time so bear with me as I work on getting the first batch of new content up.

I hope all of you are doing well, and I look forward to continuing to bring you my experiences with the world of beauty. Stay lovely!

Today, OPI announced a collaboration with superstar Mariah Carey. The multi-platinum recording artist will be the inspiration behind a new collection of nail polish set to debut in January 2013.

Says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI Executive VP & Artistic Director:

OPI is thrilled to work with Mariah, an industry icon who loves nails and considers lacquer one of her favorite accessories. With her magnetic personality both on and off the stage, Mariah serves as a great inspiration for beautiful, bold colors.

Little information is known about this new collection, but I’m excited – what kinds of colors do you think we’ll see when this OPI/Mariah Carey launch hits stores?

Good morning ladies! After lusting over some of the latest beauty products to hit the market, I’ve narrowed my (admittedly huge) list to include a few of my most-wanted products this month. Check them out and let me know if these are on your wish list, too!

Shade: Opal Lights

1. Maybelline Luminous Lights Eyeshadow Quad

I’ve seen mixed reviews on these around the beauty blogosphere, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to try them for myself – they look too darn pretty to resist!

2. Bliss High Intensity 24-”Heaven” Healing Body Balm

Yes, please! At $35, this ain’t cheap – but I’ll admit I’m intrigued by its claims of 24-hour hydration that will heal dry and damaged skin. My skin could definitely use this level of TLC!

3. Bumble and Bumble Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil

I’m a little obsessed with hair oil after trying Sundari’s Neem & Coconut Oil, and this one from Bumble and Bumble looks kind of awesome. Six oils + two extracts supposedly work together to tame flyaways, soften and add shine – sign me up!

Have you tried any of these? What did you think?

This week, I have a review and photos to share with you from my experiences using the Stila In The Know Palette and Dr. Dennis Gross Extra Strength Alpha Beta Peel. First up, the palette!

Stila’s latest palette comes with 10 matte shadows that are perfect for fall. Bonus: You also get a smudge stick eyeliner in a really pretty gray hue. For the look shown in the (bad) photos below, I used the shades Wind, Clay and Earth along with the smudge stick on my top lid. (Wind as a base; Clay as an accent shade and Earth in the crease to give more definition.)

Yes, I just got out of the shower… and I am wearing NO makeup except eyes & lip gloss.

I don’t use matte shadows very often, so these were a nice way to play around with them because they’re all so neutral and wearable. I didn’t experience too many issues with fallout, and the shades lasted for a good 8 hours with primer. They’re also extremely easy to blend, so you can create a variety of eye looks with one palette. For $39, this is truly a budget-friendly purchase if you plan on using them frequently – the bonus smudge stick is nice too!

Overall:

LOVE the versatility of these shades and the staying power. It seems pricey up front, but for 10 shadows + a liner, you really are getting quite a bit for your buck. These are great work appropriate shades, too. DEFINITELY rating this a 5/5 stars… now I want more Stila palettes!

Despite my happiness with the Stila palette, I cannot say the same for the next product I was tasked to review: Dr. Dennis Gross Xtra Strength Alpha Beta Peel.

Now, I’ve used peels in the past before and never experienced any adverse reactions. Unfortunately, when I used this peel my face DID NOT LIKE IT. Seriously, I had to deal with major redness, irritation and breakouts – after one use. I was supposed to use this for 5 days, but I had such a horrible reaction the first day that I was afraid to continue using the product. My skin is just now back to normal!

Granted, I should have done a patch test first – but given my skin’s tolerance for peels I’ve used previously, I didn’t think that was going to be a problem. Unfortunately, this product didn’t work for me. Maybe on the right type of skin, this peel would be effective. Unfortunately, I am going to have to give this 1/5 stars.

Both of these products can be purchased at Bloom.com. Have you tried either of these before? What were your thoughts?

Disclaimer: These products were sent to me free of charge for the purpose of testing and review. All opinions expressed herein are my own, and are not influenced by compensation, monetary or otherwise.

As far as drugstore brands go, I never used to care much about L’Oreal. However, that all changed when they came out with my #1 favorite product, which you’ll find below – along with four other L’Oreal products I can’t live without, now that I’ve given them a chance.

Shade: Endless Sea

1. L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow

It’s no secret I’m in love with this shadow. Since its debut, I haven’t stopped talking about it – and even got my sister hooked on the unbelievably budge-proof shades. I have several of these and they are always in my makeup bag! At some point, I know I’ll have all of these shades – or at least a good portion of them!

2. L’Oreal Infallible Never Fail Eyeliner

My sister turned me onto this eyeliner – I needed a replacement for my Maybelline, which wasn’t impressing me anymore. This is seriously one of the best budget-friendly liners I’ve tried, and it lasts for a long time. Plus, I like how I don’t have to mess with a sharpener. While I don’t know if it wears 16+ hours, it definitely wore 8 hours straight with no fading, smudging or creasing.

Shade: Riotous

3. L’Oreal H.I.P Studio Secrets Metallic Eyeshadow Duo

These highly pigmented shadow duos aren’t for the faint of heart, but they definitely deliver an impact. I have one of these and am super impressed by how blendable and bold these shades are. Plus, the metallic finish adds just enough shimmer without being too over the top.

4. L’Oreal Studio Secrets Professional Magic Perfecting Base

I had a sample packet of this, and I don’t know why I haven’t run out to buy the full size – it’s pretty awesome. It made my skin look super smooth and helped provide a good canvas for foundation. While it isn’t the best primer I’ve ever used, I do like how it feels on my skin. It helped even out my skin tone, as well!

5. L’Oreal Everstrong Deep Replenishing Mask

I really like how this hair mask is sulfate-free, but that’s not even the best part about it. The best part? How may hair looks afterwards! Not only did this mask help tame my massive frizz problem, but it left my locks feeling super soft and healthy. Plus it has a really pleasant coconut scent that isn’t overwhelming.

What are your favorite L’Oreal products?

WARNING: Please excuse my non-makeup face; I just wanted to get these done and out of the way!!

My latest Bloom Ambassador Box featured a variety of fun products, several of which were hair care items. I’ll be reviewing the following items:

  • T’eez Bounce Me Styling Cream
  • T’eez Build Me Volume Spray
  • Sundari Hair Treatment Oil

I apologize in advance for the photo quality, but I will be as descriptive as possible in order to give you the best idea of how these products worked for my hair. First up, the styling cream & volume spray!

I received a full size Bounce Me Styling Cream ($22.99) and a sample size of Build Me Volume Spray ($19.99). These products can be worn alone or in conjunction, which is how I chose to use them for the purpose of this review.

I rarely blow dry my hair, but we all know that air drying can often cause frizz and other weird hair issues. My hair is already pretty frizzy and fine, so I was hoping these products would remedy that situation. After showering, I towel dried my hair and applied the styling cream from mid-shaft to the ends of my hair, scrunching gently with my fingers to help bring out my hair’s natural texture. Then, I sprayed the volume spray on my roots to help lift and volumize. I used a comb to help tame flyaways and frizz on the top of my head, then waited for my hair to dry and these products to work their magic.

As you can see from the photos below, my results were pretty impressive – at least to me! The styling cream helped bring out the natural wave in my hair and held it there all day without making my hair feel sticky or crunchy. The spray also made my hair appear fuller – my hair has never looked this way with any product before, and I have tried a LOT of volumizing products.

As you can see (Especially in the first and third photos,) my hair has little flips and curls that, I assure you, were NOT there before I used these products. Also, ignore the dates – I am using a super old camera and have no idea how to change the date, haha! I’m not much of a hairstylist, but with these products I don’t have to be. I can have soft, full hair with a natural-looking wave without touching a styling tool. If it weren’t for the price, these would be definite must-have’s in my book.

Pros:

  • Light scent, not overpowering at all
  • Non-tacky or sticky
  • Great volume at roots
  • All-day hold
  • Helps bring out hair’s natural texture

Cons:

  • Price – it’s definitely more of a splurge product for me, rather than a necessity

Overall Rating: 4/5 Stars

Next, I reviewed the sample sachets I received of Sundari Neem and Coconut Hair Treatment Oil ($34). I was really tentative about using this. Hair oils on my fine hair tend to leave me with greasy roots, but because this is rinsed out I was hopeful I wouldn’t have any issues. The directions state to apply to hair 30 minutes before showering, or to leave on overnight for the best results. I decided to leave it on overnight to avoid sitting around for half an hour with oil on my head.

The scent was super strong, but it wasn’t entirely unpleasant and faded quite a bit by the time I woke up in the morning ( it’s a bit medicinal smelling). As soon as I hopped in the shower and felt the water hit my hair and scalp, I was amazed – my hair literally felt like silk. I shampooed and conditioned as normal, and when I went to style my hair I found that it was incredibly manageable and didn’t require any styling cream or other hair potion like usual. Plus, it even seemed to cut down on frizz (which as you know, I have a huge problem with.)

Pros:

  • Leaves hair feeling SUPER soft
  • Cuts down on frizz
  • Makes hair more manageable for styling

Cons:

  • Price – it’s way too expensive for every day use
  • Messy application – since it’s a thin oil, it can be a bit of a pain to apply
  • Smell – While the smell didn’t bother me, I can definitely see how it can be overpowering to some people.

Overall: 4/5 Stars

I really love the condition of my hair after using this oil treatment, and wish I could afford to regularly keep this in my medicine cabinet when I want soft, shiny and manageable hair. If you feel like splurging, I totally recommend it.

All of the products featured in this post can be purchased at Bloom.com. Have you tried any of these before? Do you agree or disagree with my reviews?

Disclaimer: All products mentioned here were provided to me free of charge for testing and review purposes. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by compensation, monetary or otherwise. Post contains an affiliate link, which rewards me when you make your first $50+ order on Bloom.com.

This month, I’ve picked a few favorites from my beauty cabinet that continue to impress me. In no particular order, here they are!

1. Color Club Nail Polish in Love ‘Em Leave ‘Em

Despite the fact that I’m drawn to brights and neon colors during this time of the year, the pretty light golden brown of this polish is seriously gorgeous. Plus, it’s holographic and shimmery in sunlight! Seriously, look up a swatch of this shade – you’ll fall in love. Normally I’m ADD when it comes to polish and have to change it every few days, but this puppy has been on my nails for a week now and holding up nicely.

($3.10, Head2ToeBeauty.com)

2. NYX Ultra Pearl Mania

These are a lot smaller than I realized initially, but a little goes a long way. This loose shimmer eyeshadow is really pretty and can be used to create a variety of looks (I have Orange Zest, and it’s a very nice, bright orange – not clownish, though.) The shimmer is very visible, but it’s flattering and not over the top. Plus, it’s super easy to blend.

($3, CherryCulture.com)

3. Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter

You can read my review of this body butter here – if you do, you’ll know why it’s made the list of favorites this month! Not only does it smell absolutely divine (especially when you layer it with the matching perfume,) but it’s very moisturizing and leaves my skin feeling soft and smooth almost all day long. It’s also fast absorbing and non-greasy, so you don’t have to worry about having an icky, heavy film on your skin after applying.

($18, Bloom.com)

What beauty products are you currently loving this month?


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