Saturday, June 22, 2013

Urban Decay Deluxe Shadow Box and Afterglow Review / Hautelook Haul!

One of my favorite ways to get high-end makeup for practically nothing is from HauteLook!
If you don't know what Hautelook is, it's basically a website that has "flash sales" or, more specifically: they sell different high end products for a short period of time for a VERY low price. Everything from shoes, to housewares to jewelry to...makeup! The one downfall is it takes about a month to actually GET to you. It is very much worth the wait, though! Let's take a look at what I got from the Urban Decay sale.

First off, I got the Deluxe Shadow Box. I've seen this palette around for years. It was originally $38, but it is currently on sale through Urban Decay's website for $10.  I believe I got it for $7 from Hautelook. Incredible deal either way you look at it!



 As you can see, it's a decent sized palette, and it comes in the old-school UD palette format, which is the purple velvet and the silver metal on top. It's quite cute! It also came with a small UD Primer Potion sample, as well as two small foam tip applicators. This is a VERY bright palette upon first glance, but there are also a few neutrals that you can mix with these colors to make them all very wearable!


You've got all your basic brights: Pink, yellow, purple, green and blue. These are all very jewel-toned so you will get a really gorgeous color payoff from them. You also have a deep black, a taupe, a rose gold and a brown. All of these colors have a sheen to them. I would call them more shimmery than GLITTER. Urban Decay is known for their over-the-top, chunky glitter, but none of these shadows have that appearance. Here's a quick swatch to get a better idea. These were swatched without primer, so imagine how vibrant they are on the lid with a primer!


As I said above, this palette can come off a bit unwearable at first glance, but if you focus more on the neutrals at the bottom, you could come up with a nice smokey eye! You can also get a really cute neutral eye with a pop of color on the lower lid as a liner. Heck, you could even go a bit nuts and do a rainbow eye! It's an excellent array of bright colors along with some pretty neutrals to make this a very wearable palette overall. My favorite color is definitely "Peace" which is the peacock blue. It swatches so brightly and is such an incredibly gorgeous color. I have NOTHING like it, and that's hard to accomplish!!

Finally, I picked up one of the Urban Decay Afterglow cream blushes. These are also available on their site right now for about $6. They were originally $24. I don't have many cream blushes, so I was curious how an Urban Decay cream blush would perform. Most of them were sold out, but I was a little daring and got what looked like a dark pink color called, "Fetish."


Once I received it, I realized it's not as scary of a pink as it looks like on the site. The great thing about this color is that you can make it a more intense pink, or you can use it very lightly and sheer it out for a natural flush. I swatched it on the back of my hand so you can get a better idea of how different it can look depending on application:


You can see on the top I did a heavier application and below it a more sheer one. I love the versatility of this product and it really looks beautiful and natural on the skin.

I'm quite happy with my purchase, as I saved about 80% off with Hautelook! If you're interested in these products, they are still available on Urban Decay's website for about 75% off in the sale section. Grab them while you can!


Friday, June 21, 2013

Q-Tips Precision Tips Review

There are just some things in life that should have been invented AGES ago!

I don't know about you, but I use Q-Tips (cotton swabs in general) for SO many things. One of my most favorite ways to use them is when I'm painting my nails. If I get any polish on the skin/cuticle, I just dunk a Q-Tip into polish remover and do a quick cleanup for a perfect manicure every time! You can also use them to clean appliances and electronics, as well as use them for makeup application and removal. I'm sure there are tons more uses for them!

While Q-Tips are a great invention, I know I have desired more of a pointed tip. One that could clean up nail polish without hitting my nail. One that would be pointed enough to remove a makeup smudge without wiping away the rest of the applied makeup. One that could get into the tiny cracks and crevices of electronics when being cleaned. And then these appeared in my life thanks to Influenster:


Yes. Q-Tips Precision Tips. POINTED TIPS! I know I'm getting way too excited over these but they are so perfect for so many things. I am also loving the cute little travel packages these come in. They are easily reusable too! Here's a great picture I found on the web of how they can be used to more precisely clean up makeup smudges:


Also, with a more precise, pointed tip, you're able to get riiight up next to your nail and clean up any little smudges for an absolutely perfect mani!


These little guys are PERFECT for any beauty arsenal or cleaning caddy! You can't go wrong with having them in your home and I am SO excited to have found these precision style ones thanks to Influenster. I will have these on hand from now on!

Kiss everEZlashes Updated Review!

It's not the first time Influenster has sent me Kiss lashes, but I will never complain!

I absolutely love the Kiss line of products, as they are always high quality for a low price, and their lashes are no exception. The everEZlashes line of lashes are a bit different from your everyday lashes. Here's what they have to say from their website which you can check out here: http://www.kissusa.com/

"Kiss has introduced a market-first everEZlashes that comes complete with patent pending Application Strings.  Ever tried applying eyelashes but became frustrated when they didn’t position correctly? Only to remove them and keep trying again? Kiss everEZlashes with patent pending Application Strings allow for a perfect application every time! Kiss lashes come in a variety of styles that are perfect for everyday wear, to a formal evening event!"


 (picture of the lash sets I received from Influenster. LOVE the dramatic ones! WOW!)

I'm sure you're wondering what the heck an "applicator string" is, and whether or not you need it. The applicator strings are little thin threads that are put through the lashes so you can hold the strings and put the lashes in place more easily. However, I feel like if you're already a lash-wearing-pro, these strings are more cumbersome and in the way. I found it to be harder to use the strings when applying, while my friends who were new to lashes found the strings to be helpful, so it's all a matter of how comfortable you are with lash application. Here's how you put them on!

Apply glue to the lash base and let set for 30 seconds until the glue becomes tacky, holding both sides of the lash with the string applicators. Then place on the eye-lid along the natural lash line. Allow to set and apply lashes to second eye. Once completely dry, hold & squeeze lashes firmly between thumb and index finger, push in lashes and gently grab one end of string, pulling away. Do the same to the second eyelash.

Beware that removing the strings can pull a bit at the eye lid, so don't yank them! If you're interested in purchasing a pair for yourself to see how well they work for you, you can buy them for about $3.99 at most drugstores. I have also seen them at Walmart.

For more information and how to videos, visit www.EverEZlashes.com.

Luster NOW! Instant Whitening Toothpaste Review

Just recently I went to CVS to do some much needed couponing. I had a high-value coupon for Crest White Strips and they happened to also be on sale. I thought I could get them for a decent price...until I saw that even WITH the sales/coupons, they were 30 dollars! FOR STRIPS THAT YOU STICK ON YOUR TEETH! I mean, really! I remember vividly that they were only about $19.99 when they first came out. So why are they so expensive now?

Needless to say, I put them back on the shelf and put the coupon on the shelf too in case someone wanted to use it. There was no way I was paying that kind of money for a temporarily brighter smile.

But then, something awesome happened. Influenster sent me a "Something Blue" voxbox, and inside was this neat box:


I thought, "What luck!! A whitening toothpaste!" But I was a little skeptical. Luster Now! toothpaste claims to have instant whitening results. After only ONE brushing! I was wondering how that was possible, but I knew it couldn't hurt to give it a try. Before I let you in on how it worked for me, let's go over what this product actually IS and what it offers.

- Contains Bluverite, a proprietary formula that creates the optical effect of whiter teeth
-Whitens teeth after just one brushing-- results last for hours
- Removes surface and deep stains with daily use
-Safe on enamel and dental restorations

Hmm. Ok. So basically this toothpaste works "immediately" the way a blue-toned red lipstick works to whiten your smile. The good thing is that it also removes stains with daily use. You have the option of using it daily, or only using it when you need that "instant boost" to the color of your teeth.


It's a decent sized tube so with daily use, I still think it would last quite awhile.
While I unfortunately did not take before and after pictures of my teeth, I can tell you that this stuff DOES work immediately. I wouldn't say that it takes your teeth from coffee-stained yellow (like mine) to pearly white in just one brush, but it definitely makes them look whiter and takes away that yellow tinge almost immediately. Pair it with a blue-toned lipstick and you've got a really white smile!

I have also read many reviews saying that after the first week of use your teeth generally look more white and healthier. I have been using it for 3 days and I am very happy with the results, so I'm looking forward to seeing what my teeth look like after a week!

Overall, if you're looking for a quick fix, this is a great solution. Going on a date tomorrow night and don't have time for a whitening kit? Use this stuff and it really will make a huge difference!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Dr. Scholl's Products Galore!

Not only did I receive the Dr. Scholl's For Her Ball of Foot Cushions from Influenster, but I was lucky enough to be chosen by BzzAgent to review the Dr. Scholls Massaging Gel Insoles. I went into a bit more depth with the Gel insoles, as they need a bit more shaping etc in order to fit your shoe, but I will review both products and let you know what I think!

Let's start with the Ball of Foot Cushions.


I received this package of insoles free of charge from Influenster and in return, was asked to give my honest opinion. I don't wear heels very often, but a huge reason for that is because I find them to be incredible uncomfortable after a short time of wear. these cushions are small ovals that have grips underneath to keep them in place in your most sky-high heels. I have a pair of wedge sandals that I have always found to be quite uncomfortable on the ball of my foot, so I thought they'd be the perfect shoe to test these out on.

These are very easy to insert. Just remove from the package and place into the shoe right where the most pressure would be on your foot. As soon as I slid my foot into the wedge sandals WITH the cushions, I could definitely feel a difference. I only wore the shoes for about an hour before my legs started to feel a little uncomfortable. I will say that my feet felt perfectly fine! If you're a bit more used to walking in heels, OR you love heels but don't wear them due to comfort issues, this product is a great option for you. I do think they would help take away foot pain, but if you tend to get leg soreness, I don't think they'll do much for that.

Now onto the larger of the two. The Massaging Gel Insoles.



I received this particular set of insoles from BzzAgent, who also sent me them at no cost to me in return for my honest review. They were also great enough to send me a huge booklet of $4.00 coupons to hand out to friends, family etc, which takes almost 50% off the retail price in most stores. These are a bit more complicated to set up, but still very simple overall! First, let's take a closer look at the insoles:


This gives you a good idea of what the underneath of the insoles look like. They are very soft and squishy and I couldn't wait to slide them into my sneakers as soon as I pulled them out of the packaging! Before you start sizing the insoles, I would suggest seeing if you can easily remove the current insole of the shoes you are using. I wouldn't suggest ripping the current insoles out, but if they can be easily removed, I would do so. If not, just attempt to lay the Dr. Scholl's insole over the current insoles, which is what I did with my Converse sneakers that were used.

The insoles come in a large size, and on the back there are numbered lines that correspond to shoe size. I would suggest cutting one size off at a time and trying them in your shoe in order to get the best fit possible.


Once you've cut the top to fit your shoe, the insole will simply slide in! I can say that I've been wearing my sneakers with the gel insoles for over 2 weeks now and I definitely feel a huge difference in the comfort. I can walk longer distances without my feet aching, and you notice right away how much more comfortable your shoes are. These are a great option for those of you who work on your feet for long periods of time, or even someone who loves a pair of uncomfortable shoes and refuses to stop wearing them! LOL Either way, they are worth the small investment and only need to be replaced once every 6 months. What do you have to lose?

Influenster Something Blue Vox Box!

Influenster was lovely enough to choose me to receive their "Something Blue" Vox Box, as I am a Bride-to-Be! This box contained products that would be helpful to a bride or a bridesmaid on the big day!

I'm not going to go into too much detail about what Influenster is, as I have done that many times in the past, but I will say it's a website/community that allows you to be an active member in trying and reviewing products for free in return for your honest opinions and reviews. If you're interested I would recommend checking them out!

What I'm going to do here is just show you what I received and my overall reaction to it, and then I will review each product individually later on. :)


Pretty great for free, eh?

This box contained a Luster Now! Whitening Toothpaste, a Packet of Headache Relief powder, 2 packages of Q-Tips with precision points, 2 packages of Kiss Ever Easy Lashes, and a pair of Dr. Scholls "For Her" Ball of Foot Cushions. There were also a few coupons and deals which I will mention in the full reviews later on. My overall impression of this box was a good on, as I can see all of these items being useful to a bride! The last Bride-related vox box I recieved was nice, but I found it a bit hard to relate the products to brides. This one, however, is full of products that I personally think a bride shouldn't be without. Stay tuned to hear what I think of each one and whether or not they're worth it to go purchase for yourself!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Bulu Box June 2013


So I was surfing the net last month trying to find a few new subscription boxes to try out, and I was delighted to find a coupon code for a FREE Bulu Box.I don't believe the code is available any longer, but honestly I don't even think it was worth it to get this box for free. Bulu Box is a monthly subscription box that costs $10 a month. It is filled with vitamins, supplements, and other healthy products. They also offer the option of getting a weight-loss-type box as well, although I opted for the regular box. I am more interested in health, and less interested in unhealthy dieting. While I think this is a great idea for a subscription box, I think it would help the company if they were sending out a box that was enticing enough to keep me subscribed. I received my free box and cancelled the same day. Why? Well take a look for yourself.


So. If I had actually spent the $10 that this box normally cost...I would be LIVID. Granted this box was free, however there are people that pay for this subscription that received the same box as I did. So lets really look at this as if I had paid full price. I received 5 items. 4 OUT OF THE 5 were FOIL PACK SAMPLES. They look like samples I could get with my vitacost orders. (vitacost.com let's you choose 2 samples with every online purchase) I got some energy chews, edible green tea that you sprinkle on food (wtf?) a packet of some sort of protein fuel (I am not a weightlifter, so no thanks) and a foil pack of some pain reliever gel. wow. 

The only non-foil pack product I received was a small bottle of diet pills. Yea. F'ing diet pills. I thought this was supposed to be a HEALTH box, not some sketchy box pedaling dangerous diet pills. The worst part? It SAYS ON THE BOTTLE "Free Trial." In other words, it's a FREE TRIAL that you just PAID FOR in your $10 Bulu Box subscription. I'm guessing you can contact the company that makes these pills and request a free trial and receive the same bottle. So I basically received a free sample of diet pills, and 4 foil packets of random crap.

I'm not sure if this is just a bad month. Maybe this box is normally very good and I'm judging it unfairly. But I can only go by what I received, and this is not even worth $1, never mind the $10 they charge monthly. I am usually pretty forgiving when it comes to subscription boxes. I'm pretty easy to please. But let's break this down overall, shall we?

-4 out of the 5 items were foil pack samples
-The only non-foil pack was a free-trial product and says so on the bottle.
-They offer a diet/weight loss box that I did not choose, yet I got diet/weight loss products.

I was hoping for a box similar to the Vitacost Be Well box, but I was simply disappointed. I cannot recommend this box, and if you ARE interested in a box that has health products, vitamins and supplements, I would suggest the VitaCost Be Well box, specifically. 

Ipsy June 2013



Another month, another Ipsy bag!

This month had a LOT of anticipation behind it. Partly because they gave a lot of awesome picture hints, and partly because I received my bag while I was on vacation so I had to wait a few extra days to open it and find out what I got!

I think this is the first month that I was a bit disappointed. There are still a few excellent products that I am looking forward to using, but I found that I was a lot less impressed with the selection of items that were chosen for me. Looking at a few of the other bags, I found I would have much rather received some of the other products that were being offered. I guess you can't win 'em all! Anyway, let's get to a picture and my opinions on each product!


First off, the bag? I love it! I know a lot of people thought it was loud and tacky, but I really love the animal print with the neon green zipper. It's MUCH different from the normal style of Ipsy bags, and I just find it to be so cute! It also feels much more sturdy/well-made than some of the past bags.

Freeman PSSSST! Dry Shampoo
Uhm. Can you say, "MEH?" Of ALL the things that could have been sent to me this month, this is probably the LAST item I would be interested in. I wash my hair every other day without fail, so I don't need a dry shampoo. Not to mention it's a drugstore/cheap brand...not to mention it's something I've received in other subscription companies...not to mention I was clear in my Ipsy profile that I wasn't interested in hair products...I could go on! I was just really disappointed with this product, especially because many people got full-sized gel liners that were valued at quadruple the value of this product. I don't think that's very fair, but what are ya gunna do?

Starlooks Lip Pencil in "Tipsy"
I've been wanting to try Starlooks makeup for quite some time now, and I'm glad I got a lip liner that is a pretty pink color, as it will go with a lot of different lipsticks. This pencil glides on very smoothly and the color is very pigmented. So far I'm quite impressed. If you're interested in more Starlooks products (they apparently have past MAC cosmetics chemists on staff and claim their makeup is JUST as good!) they offer a subscription box as well for $15 dollars a month. I don't subscribe to it myself, but it's simply because I already subscribe to enough service, but I have been told their makeup is excellent and the subscription is always well worth the money!

Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil
Eh. OK. It's essentially a concealer pencil. There is no highlight to it. I have pale skin so this doesn't really highlight for me. It's not a very good concealer either, considering it doesn't have much staying power. The only thing I can see this possibly working for is lining your water line for a more "open-eyed" look, but even then, the pencil is so large that once the point dulls a bit, it becomes hard to get on the water line. Not really loving this product.

NYX Mosaic Powder in "Spice"
MEHHHHH. Ok. Now that I've got that out of the way...I was REALLY hoping for just the cream blush that Ipsy was also offering. These mosaic powders always have too much brown in them and I find it hard to come up with ways to use them. Too much brown to be a blush on my pale skin, and too much pink to be used as a contour. I do really like NYX products I just wish it wasn't something completely unusable.

J.Cat Sparkling Cream Palette in "Suzie"
UGHHHHH. OH GOD UGH. Honestly, could this be any more blegh?? I can't even come up with words for this. At first glance on the Ipsy FB page, I thought this was a glitter liner palette. And while I wasn't THRILLED at the idea, I thought it would at least get some use. I don't think any Ipsy member over the age of 20 is interested in anything with a TON of chunky glitter. However I found out from Ipsy that these glitters shouldn't go anywhere NEAR your eye, but they are "body glitters." Yes. Body glitters. Like the kind you used when you were 10. The kind you buy on Halloween. Freaking body glitters. Not to mention, they're cheap-ass body glitters that are less than $5 and show it with their lack of quality. I will NEVER use these, and I don't think any Ipsy subscriber that is older than 18 is going to be interested in this product. My mother was interested in subscribing to Ipsy after she saw what I received in last months bag, but now I'm hesitant to convince her to subscribe anymore. What is a 50 year old woman going to do with a bunch of cheap body glitter? What is a 28 YEAR OLD going to do with it? Toss it out, that's what.

Overall, this month wasn't a total bust. I like that they're listening to their subscribers and starting to put things in the bags that we're interested in. I like that they're starting to use Ipsy Match to tailor the bags to each person, but I don't think it's working so well right now. They need to also start taking subscribers ages into consideration. I think the glitter palettes would have been good for anyone under 18. Or the eye brow gel that they sent me a few months ago would have been better sent to someone who needed/desired it. (My brows are so sparse I have to draw them on!) I think Ipsy is still the best and they are still working through a bit of a growth spurt since starting the Ipsy Match usage. It is still MORE than worth the $10 a month I pay for it. But I think they need to come up with a more comprehensive system in order for it to really be worth using, or they're going to have more and more unhappy subbies!

Until Next month!