Wednesday, August 29, 2012

August Empties

I didn't have too many empties this month- but they were all good and a few are staples in my summer and make up routines!

1. Ocean Potion Skincare Moisturizing Aloe Lotion: I love this stuff and purchase it every summer. I'm not sure but I think this is only available (I purchased mine at Walmart) during The summer. It smells so good and it feels so good on the skin, whether you've been in the sun or not. The products states that it is," formulated to replenish and repair skin cells after exposure to the sun and all other outdoor elements". This is a perfect description- my skin feels naked without it during this dry, hot weather.
Contains Aloe Vera, Tea Tree Oil and vitamins A, C & E- all great stuff! Repurchase: Yes!

2. L'oreal Youth Code Foaming Gel Cleanser: I purchased this while it was on sale and I had a coupon, so I think I ended up paying $2 for this. It lasted a long time. I kept it in the shower to use with my clarisonic and liked it. I really think it's hard not to get a cleanser that doesn't work well with the clarisonic. Repurchase: Maybe, I have a few face cleansers to last me a while.

3. Bath and Body Works Anti-Bacterial Hand Gel: I bought this particular one (it has my Horoscope-Scorpio) during one of their sales and as always- I love B&BW anti-bac hand sanitizers. Repurchase: Have a few back up of different scents!

4. Embryolisse Lait- Creme Concentrate: Love this! It has been on my favorites list and I'm sad to see it go, as it will be a while until I can repurchase:(

5. Cover Girl Professional Super Thick Lash Mascara: When I want volume this is my go-to mascara! I've used Cover Girl since High School but had never tried this particular one until a few months ago! I adore it and it's under $5- which is good since it tends to dry up super fast. Repurchase: Have one on back up:)

Well that's all for this month. Not to bad:)

Friday, August 24, 2012

Soft and Healthy Hair Quest

The quest for soft, luxurious and healthy hair seems like a never-ending journey! I've tried high end products (usually gifted by generous hair dresser friends) such as Wella, Bumble&Bumble and Joico K-Pak and while I've had satisfactory results, I didn't really feel that it was worth the high price when compared to some drugstore finds.

While browsing at Target one day I spotted the new Suave Keratin Infusion Shampoo. I bought just the shampoo since the conditioner spot was empty and continued to use the economy size Wella conditioner I'd bought at a wholesale hair supply store. I was surprised at how just the shampoo left my hair feeling! My ends are definitely in need of a hair cut (I have an appointment set for 2 weeks!) due to having gone thru an ombré stage.
After searching nearly everywhere (CVS, Walgreens) I found the conditioner at Walmart. I thought if it's never in stock it must be good- and it is! Hair feels semi-healthy (cut of my ends will help a lot!).

Next up: Hair Treatments are just as important in my opinion. Currently in my rotation are, Suave Keratin Infusion Leave-In Conditioner- this stuff is amazing!! I've tried several hair serums/leave in conditioners. Since using this Suave one I can brush my (thick, unruly) hair without any pulling!
My hair is on the dry side, so I only wash it every 2-3 days- even in this heat it doesn't go bad and smell awful (thanks to having it in a high bun most days) but I do like to keep it fresh with Pssssst Instant Dry Shampoo.

Hair Products:
I don't use many, but on the rare occasion hair spray is needed (for fly aways!)I have a bottle of Rusk deep shine oil Advanced Marine Therapy, this is absolutely non-sticky and smells so good!
I also repurchased Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. I'd bought this before to see if it was a close dupe for the bumble&bumble popular Surf Spray- I think so and for way cheaper! CVS had the 2 oz on sale for $2.49! I spray it before bed and wake up with waves that look natural and even better on the second day!
Last product is a new one. I saw Carly from, talk about: Aussie Catch the Wave mousse + leave in conditioner. Haven't had much luck with mousse (usually are sticky and make my hair crunchy) but Carly said it made her "Favorites list", and it was also on sale at CVS so I had to try it! Am so glad I did- I love it! I've only tried it this week but can tell a difference in both the texture and bounce of my waves/curls! Thanks Carly!

Whew- looks like a lot for someone who thinks herself as low maintenance on the hair;) I do own a hair dryer and straightener, but it's been over 6 months since I've used either one! And so far my hair seems quite happy. I hope the hair cut works out!

What's your favorite hair products? Anything I'm missing out on?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Nails and Paris

I've been trying to treat my nails and get some strength as they have always been very thin. My nails grow very fast (I cut them down at least once a week). For work I need them to be a reasonable length, not too long but I do like a bit of length. While browsing for swap stuff for Mags and Roz, I found a nail strengthener that contains Wheat Protein and Calcium. The product (which is made by Ruby Kisses- fan of their cosmetics!) is said to "Strengthen, Hydrate and Restore Fragile Nails". I've only been using it for about 2 weeks (I did skip a couple of days when I didn't have it with me while I was away). While I like the way it applies, it's too soon to actually tell if it's going to work and help. But for $1.99- I'm not expecting a miracle:)

After leaving my nails bare- with just the strengthener for a few days I was ready for one of the polishes I received in my swap from Mags- A polish I had seen in countless blogs and searched for dupes everywhere! Barry M Peach Melba. It's exactly how I pictured it to be- a perfect pastel peach! I adore it!! I'm soooo glad she included it! It really compliments my skin tone. I love it!

While browsing Forever 21 last week for some tanks/tees to wear during the heat- I wandered over to their accessories section and saw an adorable plastic zip up travel bag with four bottles to fill up with lotions, shampoo/conditioner or face products! I had to pick it up! I sometimes have to work overnight and stay at my employers house- having to lug all my toiletries is a hassle. This is the perfect set up- 2 of the bottles have flip up caps, 1 has spray and the last one a pump! Each one can hold about 60 ml of products. I love all things Parisian (despite not having been there- yet!) I had to grab it, it was only $3.80! They also had if available in black (with cream colored dots). I've yet to fill them up and actually use them but hopefully the quality is decent and sturdy!

Has anyone else purchased any good deals lately?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Tonight's Make-Up

A bit of US/UK Make-up mash but all of equals to happy me=)
I promise I'll stop complaining about this miserable heat. In November;) During the day I  don't wear much makeup (much being the key word-I still do even to the beach!) Tonight we'll be going to a bar/club, so I thought I'd spruce up my makeup routine.

I've been using the new IsaDora BB Cream* in Tan. I love BB creams. I think for summer BB creams are the best thing for your skin. SPF and extra moisturizer equal a happy, healthy complexion. Since I have an oily t-zone I apply MAC SFN with my beauty blender (a trick I learned from her site and her amazing Make up and Skincare tips). I simply wet my beauty blender a bit and it doesn't spread my BB or concealer around as I thought it would. I lightly pat it just where I need it. Great finish!
MUA Shade 4, Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, IsaDora BB Cream,
17 Eyeliner (Shout out to my babies, C and Z;)

Next, I apply a bit of concealer-am still LOVING my Collection Lasting Perfection I received from Mags in our swap. It has great staying power and doesn't crease.
Also sent in the swap was this MUA Blusher in Shade 4- The pigmentation of this blush is amazing. I usually wear a cream blush underneath all my blushes for lasting effect, but seriously have not needed to with this one!

On my lips I'm using something simple since I'll be eating and having a few beverages: Revlon Lip Balm Stain in Honey and a bit of Korres Quince Lip Butter (this one smells soooo yummy!!!!) I really like the Revlon Lip Stains but they are a bit drying-Korres' lip butter makes my lips more moisturizing and adds a spot of shine too.
Revlon LBS in Honey (left), Korres Quince Lip Butter (Middle), Both (Right)

I Love playing up my eyes for a nighttime look. Again I'm using products I was luckily given in my swap: 17 Blow Out Jumbo Eyeliner Blackest Black on the waterline, for a smudgy-smokey look. On my lashes Collection 2000 Multiplier Volume &Definition Mascara. 

To finish it off and make sure it lasts, I spray one or two pumps of Urban Decay De Slick Oil Control Makeup Setting Spray. I'll admit-never gave much thought about setting sprays. But this one (in my opinion) is fantastic and honestly does help my makeup last longer and shine free. Will definitely be repurchasing! Has anyone tried this (or any other) setting spray? 

I don't have a finished look-since I'm still in the midst of actually getting ready. I'm blaming the weather again;)

* Product received for PR Consideration. My Blog, My honest opinions-Always. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

My First International Blogger Swap (With Mags from EmeraldEyeliner!)

The posting of this swap has taken forever because every time I look at all of the gorgeous items I feel the need to put practically every product on my face! Mags did an AMAZING job in getting me basically everything I'd get myself! I did ask for a few specific items, but mostly told her what I liked (Lipstick, Blush and corals, corals and pinks;-)! -well, makeup!) and that I was eager to try Sleek, MUA and Barry M. Mags did not disappoint!!! 

Packaged goodies and cute post it notes=)
When The post man walked up my driveway I ran out in my jammies, I was excited, he smiled and said, wow, must be some good stuff!, I thought to myself-you have no idea-Make up from abroad-!!

UD Tinted Moisturizer, 17 Blow Out Eye Kohl Liner, Bourjois Max Definition Mascara, Collection Multiplier mascara, Some beautiful Oasis bracelets <3 b="b">

MUA Heaven and Earth Palette

I was ecstatic to see the Bourjois Delice de Soleil Bronzing powder (with the cool spinning mirror attached!), The adorable Bourjois Blush with mini brush, The gorgeous 3 by Sleek Palette- I was beyond excited as I drooled every time I saw this in blogs!!! and last but not least my new everyday-everynight-always new favorite blusher-MUA #4. This color is gorgeous. In fact I returned a lot of unloved, unused MAC ones because this one (and all the others will easily take their places!!)

Sleek by 3 blush palette <3 b="b">

Swatches: L to R-MUA #4, Bourjois mini blush, Bourjois Delice, YSL Bronzer

The swap started, as I mentioned with a Kate Moss Rimmel Schiap dupe, #20-which is gorgeous, she also kindly send the beautiful coral #16. I mentioned to Mags but these Rimmel lipsticks smell good! The American Rimmel lipsticks smell don't appeal to me, at all. I've heard people describe them as sugary sunscreen-I love their lipsticks but the smell put me off. The ones Mags sent smell divine-again I cannot describe it except to say I'd like to eat them. 
I LOVE the Lipsticks-Beautiful selection of pinks and corals-there is one Barry M lip color missing. My mom asked to "borrow" it (she's too cute). It was a green lippie that adjusts to your lip tone and changes color. I thought my mom was going to cry with happiness, I let her have it;)
L to R: 17, MUA Nectar, MUA #3, Barry M, Collection "Sweet Tart", Rimmel #20, Rimmel #16

MUA Heaven and Earth Palette

Swatches are the same as they are placed on the palette
top row/top on arm, L to R. The pigmentation of these are wonderful! Have used this palette several times without a primer and even in this bloody 102-108 degree weather looks decent! 
17 Glitter eyeshadow (didn't write the name down and it's at home-D'oh!) Gorgeous color!

Nail Paint By Barry M (No color listed but its a gorgeous Vibrant coral frost, and  (Finally) Barry M Peach Melba!! I have literally had this on my wish list for ever!! I LOVE them both!!

A Beautiful Marilyn Monroe card (Mag is a huge Marilyn fan!), free Bourjois glasses that she kindly included as they were a free gift with purchase. Have worn them everyday. And the beautiful beaded bracelets.

I have to say I was SOOOOO happy with my swap with Mags, I can honestly say besides getting all these wonderful, and amazing products I've also made a new friend. I think Mags can attest to that. I probably tweet her about 20 times a day. Just like old chums do!
If you get the chance to swap, I cannot recommend it enough. Mags and I are swap buddies for life (Like Ted and John in TED the movie)hehe.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summertime in the LBC

That's a Warren G. Song but I found it fittingly! I want to post all my goodies from Ireland but am on a mini holiday. I say mini because I've not whisked away to Croatia or Hawaii- I'm just escaping the 108 degree weather were expecting in Riverside and staying at my boyfriends Casa in the cooler (80-90's) Long Beach. The history of long Beach is an interesting one. It's port is one of the largest shipping ports in the world. Long beach is located near the pacific coast, therefore it always slighty cooler and fresher to be able to walk around in the day time. Have noticed that since there isn't much humidity here the Sun is stronger. I apply SPF 60+ religiously but am still very dark. I say this because my boyfriend feels the need to say it as often as he can . Most girls like to tan and layout, but for us "brown girls", staying the same and not getting darker is what we (or at least me) want. Heading to Trader Joe's, maybe take a look at their SPF. Any suggestion of good (reasonably priced) SPF?

Here's a quick peek into the lovely city of the LBC. Swap post to come soon- promise! xx

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Christmas in the Summer!

I'm a total bargain shopper nowadays (believe I used to love to indulge in Chanel, MAC and YSL), but now it's just not practical. These last few weeks have been like Christmas in July (and August) for me!

Sephora emails about new products are nice eye candy but it's like window shopping- which I'm not a fan of. Temptation is too much! When I saw the beautiful NARS Foreplay blush pallette pop up on my screen I had to save the picture and share it with my fellow beauty lovers on Instagram. My very close friend, and fellow blogger, Roz ( has an amazing taste and eye for all beauty products! Head over to her blog ASAP!) the picture and said, We need to get this! To which I replied, yes we do! And well she did. Buy us both palettes! I'd doggie sat for her lovable St. Bernard, Louie, last month and she said this was payment! I didn't have the will power to say no! I sent her a (small) gift in return, definitely not a even exchange...yet;)

Back in May I was browsing blogs and was on and saw that one of the blogs contributors, Mags, had found a dupe by Rimmel for NARS Shiap! I was smitten-Schiap has been on my wish list for ages! I commented that I'd not seen them in the states and the rest is History! Well History as in we emailed and set up a swap! It was my first real swap in that we were swapping for stuff we wanted! As a huge lover of UK/Ireland based blogs, I'd had a huge wish list of beauty products I wanted! Mags did not Disappoint! As I still don't have daily access to wifi, I'm only posting a quick pic- plus I'm still having so much fun with ALL the goodies I've gotten!

Whew! But one more thing. That Naked palette that everyone has? And was on my wish list in July? I was able to snag it for $24. I was given an Amazon gift card/credit some time back and when I saw that Sephora supplied it in Amazon I took the plunge. It's only just arrived today- but am ecstatic!

Again this is not a brag post- I'm just trying to liven up this blog! As much as I love my Bargain buys it's just nice to be slightly spoiled sometimes! And be on both ends of the receiving side!

Sephora Gift Package with NARS Foreplay blush quad inside-gorgeous!!
My Amazing #bloggerswap goodies all the way from Dublin!
Urban Decay Naked Palette 
Close up of the NARS Foreplay blusher-I hope to one day swatch and wear this beauty;)
Close up of some of the goodies (17, Collection, Bourjois, some beautiful bracelets)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

NOTD: Sinful Colors- Soulmate

Last week Walgreens had a great sale on all Sinful Colors nail polishes. This is a brand that is fairly cheap already ($1.99) but a dollar off is a dollar off, right? I has two swaps to think about so I tried not to go overboard and buy a ton of polishes! I ended up purchasing about 8 or 9, in the end.
Their polishes come in gorgeous colors and the formulation isn't bad- some colors apply evenly with just one coat! This color stood out to me since I love all things peachy- coral. Soulmate is a perfect salmon coral color- I applied two coats but would have been okay with just one, as it's a bit thick. But it's gorgeous nonetheless!

Did anyone pick up any during Walgreens sale? Any summer polish recommendations?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lippie Love

Wet'n'Wild Mega Last Lipsticks are pretty awesome! My favorite lately has to be Smokin' Hot Pink (905D). These are super pigmented and with one coat look gorgeous!

It's a beautiful raspberry pink- but it looks brighter in person! Wet'n'Wild is becoming one of my favorite drugstore makeup brands!

If you haven't picked any of these up- I can't recommend them enough! I got mine at CVS for $1.99! Am so happy I did!