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A Beauty Blog offering makeup reviews, beauty reviews, and makeup news. The place for Beauty Addicts to get their fix!

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    Last month, I spotted some new lip products from L'oreal at CVS called Pro-Last Lip Color ($13.99 each).  They come in 17 shades and claim to have 24 hour coverage without dryness.  Let's take a look! 

    First of all, I just have to say that $14 for a drugstore lip product is really pretty crazy to me.  I could spend a few bucks more and get Urban Decay or Benefit lip products at Sephora. Because of the price, I was only able to buy 2 for review which was really disappointing because this line has a really nice shade range and I wanted to try more! 

    Like most long-wear lip colors, these come in a double-ended tube with the color on one end, and a clear balm on the other.  I love that you can see right through the tube so you know exactly what the shades look like. 

    I chose two pretty light, neutral shades- Permanent Blush and Timeless Rose.

    These come with a flocked applicator that makes applying them very easy. It's not wide like their Pro-Matte gloss I reviewed last week but it's slightly longer than your average doe-foot lip gloss applicator. The formula feels super smooth and hydrating going on and you can cover your lips with color in one pass.  Once applied, the directions say to keep your lips parted for a minute or so and just let it dry.  I'm always tempted to press my lips together a few times after applying lipstick or gloss so it was hard to just sit there waiting for it to dry.  After about a minute, my lips started to feel really sticky, and then after another minute, they felt dry and I was able to apply the balm.
    The balm is in a stick, which I find much easier to apply than a clear gloss-style balm like Rimmel's Provacalips.  It's just a quick swipe without having to use a second applicator wand. The balm feels soft and smooth with no stickiness and helped my lips to stay comfortable for the next 3-4 hours or so.  After that, my lips started to feel a little bit dry...not overly so but enough to make me want to use the balm again.  After the second application I didn't need to use the balm again.  I wore this the rest of the evening and overnight to see what would happen.  When I went to bed, I had been wearing it for about 10 hours and it was still going strong, through eating and drinking.  In the morning, the color was still there, but it had faded quite a bit. To remove these completely, you really need an oil-based makeup remover.

    Here are some swatches on my skin. Permanent Blush is a really pretty pinky nude. It had a hint of shimmer but that wasn't noticeable on my lips. Timeless Rose is a beautiful pink-rose shade with a bit more shimmer in it, but it wasn't glittery.
    Left: Permanent Blush
    Right: Timeless Rose
    Here they are on my lips...this is just applied without the clear balm on top.
    Permanent Blush

    Timeless Rose
    Overall, I would say that these are the most hydrating long-wear lip product I've tried. They've come a long way from those horribly drying formulas of the past.  As a person with really dry lips in the winter, I have always stayed away from long-wear lip products but now I feel like I can actually wear them without having to apply the balm every half an hour! These are very similar to Rimmel's Provacalips, but I think these are slightly more hydrating and I like the range of shades a lot more.  
    Unfortunately, the $14 price tag these come with is kind of a let-down so if you're looking for a long-wearing lip color and you can find a shade you like in the Rimmel Provacalips range ($8.49 each), I would recommend those because I found the formulas and wear time to be very similar. I still want to try more shades in this range though, so I may wait until they go on sale or I have some CVS Extra-Bucks to spend. 
    What do you guys think?  Have you seen or tried these yet?  Are you into long-wear lip color or do you favor other types of lip products?

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  • 01/18/15--19:26: My Winter Skincare Routine
  • Taking care of my skin used to be a chore for me. Back in my teens and early 20's I rarely took my makeup off before falling into bed at 1 or 2am , I baked in the sun all summer (on purpose), and never drank water. But once I hit 30, I started to notice fine lines when I smiled and brown spots from too much sun started to creep onto my cheeks and under my eyes. So I bought my first anti-aging cream, changed my bad habits, and never looked back.
    Today at 37, my skin isn't perfect, but I've been able to reverse some of the damage by really taking good care of my skin. The past year or so, I've been following the Korean skincare routine and my skin looks better than it did at 30! If you'd like to read about the steps in the Korean routine, I did a post on it here.

    The routine can consist of anywhere from 5-10 steps and it's time consuming, which is difficult when you're really tired. That's why I try to wash my face and take my contacts out right after dinner when I get into my PJ's. That way, when bedtime rolls around, I can just go right to sleep!

    Since its Winter, my normal-to-dry skin is just plain dry at the moment so a lot of the products I'm using really help to put moisture back into the skin. Also, skincare is a large part of my budget because I feel that if your skin doesn't look good, your makeup won't look good.  So I spend more on making sure my skin looks great and then don't have to spend as much on makeup!
    This is not to say that you have to spend a lot on skincare to get great results. At the moment, a lot of what I'm using is not from the drugstore, but that's mainly because I got a lot of Sephora gift cards for my birthday (my family knows me so well) so I bought a bunch of things I had been wanting to try out for a while now. In the past, I've gotten great results with Olay and Garnier skincare products and will likely go back to them at some point when my current products are gone.

    I do the double cleanse method at night. First, I use Skin Food Black Sugar Cleansing Oil to remove my makeup. It smells so good- like sugary lemons! I apply it to dry skin and work it in until I see the makeup dissolving, then I rinse.  Next, I use Philosphy's Purity Made Simple Cleanser with my Clarisonic Mia 2 to deep cleanse. Purity is amazing at removing makeup and cleansing the skin without over-drying so I really love it...I've been using it for years. I also finally broke down and got a Clarisonic and it really is worth the hype!  I wish I had bought one sooner because it's so much more effective than using your hands to cleanse...my skin feels so smooth and clean after using it. 

    In the morning, there's no need to double-cleanse since I'm not removing makeup. Lately, I've been using GlamGlow's cleansers.  Most days, I use ThirstyCleanse, which is the cleanser version of their ThirstyMud mask. It's a mud-to foam cleanser that smells just like coconut and has a lot of the benefits of the mask without the $69 price tag! I apply it to dry skin like a mask, then get ready for my shower and let it dry.  Once I get in, I add water to it and it turns into a creamy lather that's hydrating and doesn't make my skin feel tight. On Sundays, I use the GlamGlow SuperCleanse, which is meant for oily-normal skin, but it really deep cleans my pores, so I've found that using it once a week doesn't dry out my skin. 

    At night, I've been using Simple's Micellar Waterto remove any makeup residue that might be lingering on my skin and around my eyes. Usually there isn't much remaining after my double cleanse, but sometimes if I'm wearing waterproof products or just a lot of makeup, it helps. It also leaves my skin super soft and smooth and takes away that dry feeling after cleansing.

    In the morning after cleansing, I use Laneige Power Essential Toner (for normal to dry skin).  I'm so happy they've started carrying this Korean brand at Target!  This toner isn't like the ones we're used to in America...it doesn't burn or sting or make your face feel tight.  It actually adds moisture back into the skin and helps to balance it after cleansing.

    Serums are the powerhouses of skincare and usually contain the highest amounts of active ingredients to be absorbed into your skin.  I used to use just one serum but over time, I've discovered that you can layer serums to correct multiple issues you might be having.  If you're concerned about signs of aging (fine lines, wrinkles, dull skin), retinol has been proven to increase collagen production.  A lot of products claim to help wrinkles, but retinol actually has the science behind it. I've seen quite a bit of improvement using Algenist's Retinol Firming and Lifting Serum. It's pricey, but it's one of the only retinol products I've used that didn't dry out my skin...it's very gentle, yet effective.  I use retinol products at night when the skin is regenerating and you can get the most benefit.  Then I layer on Dr. Jart's Ceramidin Liquid which helps to plump and seal dry skin and keep moisture in all night long.  
    In the morning, I use Laneige Bright Renew Original Serumto help combat sun spots on my cheeks and under my eyes. I have seen incredible results from this...my skin is brighter and the spots have faded significantly...some have even disappeared completely (see my full review here). 
    Then I layer on GoodSkin Labs Smooth 365, which contains peptides to plump wrinkles and fine lines.  It also has an instant wrinkle-plumping effect and perfectly preps my skin for makeup.


    At night, I finish up with Dr. Jart's Ceramidin Cream,which is amazing for dry skin.  It's a thick cream that helps to plump and seal in moisture.  But since it's really thick, I only use it at night.  Then I use Laneige Perfect Renew Firming Eye Cream...it mainly just adds moisture but I use the Algenist Retinol serum I talked about above under my eyes, rather than use a separate eye serum.
    In the morning, I use Laneige Water Bank Gel Creme.  It's super hydrating, yet lightweight so it sinks right into my skin with no heavy feeling- perfect for daytime and wearing under makeup.

    Twice a week, I exfoliate my skin, usually in the shower in the morning.  I love Boots Botanics Age Defense Microdermabrasion Polish (see my review here). 

    So that's my Winter skincare routine!  Once the warm weather rolls around and things change, I'll do another post to talk about the products I use when my skin is more normal than dry.  
    What's your skincare routine like?  Do you have any favorite products that you use?

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    PR Sample

    My Beauty Box 5 arrived a few days ago and it's my first one of the new year! If you're new to BB5, it's a monthly beauty subscription box. You get 5 deluxe samples that can include makeup, skincare, haircare, nail products, accessories, or fragrance for $12 a month. So let's see what I got this month! 

    One thing I love about Beauty Box 5 is that they usually send a nice mix of different types of beauty products, rather than all makeup or all skincare.  This month's box was definitely diverse...it had a little bit of everything.

    First up is Softsoap Nutri Serums Nourishing Body Wash. This contains Vitamin E pearls that burst on contact with your skin to moisturize and keep your skin soft.  It's not the most exciting product ever, but I'll definitely use it and it smells really good!
    Next, is a Coastal Scents Sample Eyeshadow Quad. I'm so excited to see this because I love Coastal Scents highly pigmented, super soft shadows and because it's not from the Revealed palettes! I've gotten a lot of these Coastal Scents sample quads in different subscription boxes and they're always from the Revealed palettes- I have a ton of them (plus the full sized palettes anyway). So this is a nice change and the shades are so pretty!
    Next, I got a deluxe sample of Garnier Fructis Daily Care Fortifying Shampoo.  I'm sure I'll use this next time I travel, but again, not a super exciting item and it would have been nice to include the matching conditioner with this.
    Next, I got Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips (full size!).  These are my favorite brand of nail strips...they last a long time.  The pattern kind of reminds me of Freddy Kruger's sweater (thanks to my husband who said that as soon as he saw these), but I guess it also kind of goes with Valentine's Day.
    Lastly, I received The Gold Standard Mascara by a brand called Ultraflesh.  I tried to find information about them online, but their website is down and their Facebook page hasn't been updated in a few years. I love the gold tube, and this mascara wand was actually awesome...it helped me to get great definition and build multiple coats without clumps.  The problem is, the formula was a little dry and now I'm wondering if maybe this sample is old since the company doesn't seem to be around anymore.  It's a bit of a letdown because I think I would like this mascara but I'm not sure where I would even order a full size!

    Here's a breakdown of each product, the price and what it does.
    Overall, this was a decent BB5, but a few of the products weren't too exciting and one I'm not even sure is still available.  If you're interested in signing up for a Beauty Box 5 subscription, please visit their website at Beautybox5.com.

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    Just in time for Valentine's Day, The Body Shop has launched a new scent range called Smoky Poppy.  It's described as seductive, sensual, and indulgent and includes several different bath and body products to choose from.  Let's take a look!

    From The Body Shop Website: 
    "This limited edition line is enriched with real, hand-picked poppy flowers from the Ankara region of Turkey. This sensual and indulgent range is infused with a seductive, euphoric scent that will leave you longing for more". 

    It sounds intriguing...I think I might have to try this out.  I might start with the $9 set that comes with a shower gel and mini body wash.  I hate to purchase fragrances online without smelling them but this sounds like it could be amazing, so $9 isn't the end of the world if I don't like it.  If I do, I'll be back to order more! Plus the packaging is just gorgeous!

    Here's the entire line below.  Just click on any photo to learn more about each product.  

    Mini Body Butter- $6

    Bath Bombs $20

    Body Butter- $20
    Body Lotion $12
    Massage Oil- $20
    Deluxe Gift Set- $60
    Eau de Toilette- $14
    Mini Gift Set- $9
    Poppy Seed Body Scrub- $20
    Shower Gel- $8
    Premium Gift Set- $26

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    Last month, I spotted the new Rimmel Lasting Finish 25 Hour Foundation with Comfort Serum at CVS ($8.99). This is a new formula and packaging of their original Lasting Finish foundation that used to come in a black tube. Let's take a look!
    This foundation claims to be a full coverage foundation enriched with a comfort serum. It's supposed to be sweat, heat, humidity, and transfer proof for up to 25 hours. Well I never wear any makeup for 25 hours so it's hard to test that claim. But I definitely tested this from morning until night and I'll talk about my experience a little further down.

    It comes in a glass bottle, which looks higher-end than the squeeze tube it previously came in, but it doesn't have a pump so it's not as functional. I really don't like when foundations come in an open-neck bottle like this...it's a lot messier and I feel like I always waste product. In the UK, they actually put a pump on this bottle so I'm really confused as to why they left it off for the US version!
    This foundation feels lightweight and blends very easily. It feels moisturizing going on, but it clung to my dry patches pretty badly, no matter how well I hydrated and prepped my skin first. I would say it's close to full coverage. It goes on medium to full...it won't cover tattoos or moles but it will cover redness and dark circles pretty well. I didn't try to build it all the way to full because it was accentuating my flaky areas and I didn't want to make it worse, but it feels so lightweight and smooth, I think it can be built up easily without feeling caked on.
    I chose the lightest shade, 091 Light Ivory (there are 7 shades in all...see them here).
    This foundation lasted all day on me, from the time I put it on until I went to bed, about 10-11 hours. It was really impressive! Unfortunately, like most long-wearing products, it left my skin looking dry, although the comfort serum did help it feel a little more comfortable than most. Hopefully in the Spring when my skin returns to a more normal type, this will be a great long-wear, full coverage option!

    Have you tried this yet? I'd love to hear from people who have normal, combo or oily skin to see if it wore differently than on me.

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    Jordana Modern Matte Lipstick ($2.49, Walgreens) is a new line from Milani's super affordable sister company, and it's supposed to be a matte lipstick that's actually comfortable to wear.  Let's take a look!
    Modern Matte comes in 12 shades, and I purchased 8 of them, since some were already sold out from the display. They're packaged in clear tubes so you can see the shades and I absolutely love that they twist all the way down so that you don't chip them when you're trying to put the cap back on (I didn't do this for the photos, but rest assured, they do twist all the way down).


    "Kiss Your Dry Matte Lipstick Goodbye…Say Hello to the Modern Matte

    ·Modern Matte Lipsticks are a Winning Combination of High Payoff Pigments and Special Ingredients that Comfortably Extend the Wear

    ·Expertly Selected Shades Have an All-Day Wear Without the Typical ‘Dry Lip’ Finish that Feathers and Cracks

    ·Talc and Paraben-Free

    ·Made In USA"

    The shades are gorgeous and I love almost all the shades I purchased.  Out of the 12 shades, they seemed to have 2 in each color family...nudes, browns, berries, pinks, purples, and reds. They are super pigmented...wait until you see these swatches! They go on creamy and opaque, and I'm so impressed that they're only $2.49.
    From Left: Blush, Bare, Tease, Classy, Pretty, Adorable, Popular, It Girl
    jordana modern matte lipstick swatches
    From Left: Blush, Bare, Tease, Classy, Pretty, Adorable, Popular, It Girl

    I have really severely dry lips in the winter, so I normally can't wear matte lip products in the colder months.  But these actually felt really creamy and comfortable all day! The first time I used them, they felt too dry, like I was tugging on my lips just to apply them.  But there seems to be a bit of a film on top that goes away after the first use, because they got very creamy and easy to work with. So don't give up on them right away!
    They're not kiss proof, but they last such a long time. They stained my lips so that even when the lipstick was gone, my lips held on to the color.  Yesterday, I was wearing Popular all day and when I was getting ready for bed, my lips were still bright pink.  Then when I woke up this morning, they were still pink! This didn't happen as much with the lighter shades, but the darker ones really have some major staying power.
    I also found that I could reapply these throughout the day and they didn't ball up or get cakey.  My only *tiny* complaint is that these smell a little like Playdough, which is kind of a strange scent to have on your lips, but it's not that strong and I couldn't smell it after a while.

    Here are the swatches on my lips...keep in mind that my lips are super dry and lined pretty much all winter, so it's not the lipstick that's making them look lined-they're about the same as when I'm wearing nothing. So it doesn't help to smooth out lines like a gloss or a balm would, but the good news is, it didn't make them worse, plus this lipstick didn't cling to any flakes...it actually made those areas disappear!
    Top Row: Blush, Bare
    Bottom Row: Tease, Classy

    Top Row: Pretty, Adorable
    Bottom Row: Popular, It Girl
    I think my favorite shades are Tease and Classy (which are beautiful rosy nudes), and I also love Popular and It Girl ( which are bold pink/purples).

    Overall, I'm just so impressed by these!  The pigment is amazing, they feel so creamy on the lips and they last a long time.  Plus, I love the demi-matte finish...it's not a dry, dull matte, it still has some depth to it.  It's hard to believe these were so inexpensive, but then again, I'm not surprised since Jordana makes one of my favorite mascaras (Best Lash Extreme) for $1.99!

    Have you tried the Modern Matte Lipstick yet?  If not, I definitely recommend picking up a few shades!

    You can purchase these at Walgreens, Kmart, or Jordanacosmetics.com.

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    I'm so excited to bring you guys this deal on one of my all-time favorite fragrances...Hello by Harvey Prince.  I got hooked on it when I got a sample in one of my beauty subscription boxes (I think it was Beauty Box 5) and I've since purchased the full size.  It's a fresh, clean scent with warmth to keep it grounded (see my full review here).

    From now until tomorrow 1/23, you can get a FREE Hello Roller Ball (worth $21)- just pay shipping. Just visit the Harvey Prince Website, put it in your cart, and use code freegift at checkout.

    There's a reason Hello is their best selling fragrance... it's the perfect mix of fresh and sweet, and it's super balanced. I also ordered samples of their new Hello Shampoo and Conditioner ($1 each) because I just want to smell like Hello from head to toe!

    The notes are:

    Top: Meyer Lemon, White Grapefruit, and Satsuma Mandarin- these give it that freshness that I was looking for without smelling like soap or detergent.
    Middle: Summer Forsythia, Pink Plumeria (used in Hawaiian leis) and Wild Verbena- these florals are not headache inducing on me at all.  They're perfectly balanced in the heart of the fragrance surrounded by fresh and warm notes.
    Bottom: Tahitian Vanilla and Sensual Musk- the perfect blend to give it a warmth and sweetness without being cloying.

    So if you've been dying to try Hello, now's your chance to do it for free! To see more reviews, check out the Birchbox website...Hello currently has 4 stars with over 18,000 reviews. 

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    Back in 2013, Milani released a limited edition Rose Blush ($7.99) that I was never able to find in stores near me. I was so disappointed, but...they're back and no longer limited edition!  These have recently been added to the permanent Milani displays at my local CVS and Walgreens, so I had to pick up a few to try! Take a look...
    These blushes are just incredibly gorgeous to look at!  I actually didn't want to use them and ruin the rose design, but when I finally decided to bite the bullet, I realized that the design isn't going anywhere fast. After several uses, they still look like a rose and I think they will for a long time. They come in three shades: Romantic Rose (a soft dusty pink), Tea Rose (a dusty rose), and Coral Cove (bright coral).
    Here are the shades up close.  They're super pigmented so the swatches I'm showing are at full pigment strength when applied with my finger.  They're a lot less intense when used with a blush brush, but I just wanted to show how pigmented they are!

    Romantic Rose
    Romantic Rose

    Tea Rose
    Tea Rose

    Coral Cove
    Coral Cove
    Here they are blended so you can see that they won't be that bright once they're on your cheeks.  The colors are soft and matte, which I love.  No shimmer or sparkle here at all! 
    Romantic Rose, Tea Rose, Coral Cove
    Overall, these blushes are not only amazing to look at, but the formula is wonderful!  They're super soft (but not crumbly), highly pigmented, easy to blend, and last all day! Plus, they're huge...more than half an oz (0.6) which is a lot larger than most drugstore blushes.
    Love, love, love!

    What do you think of the Rose Blushes?  Do you own any of them or are you planning to pick some up?

    If you can't find these at drugstores near you, they're available at Milanicosmetics.com.

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    Wet N Wild has just released a new Fergie Centerstage Collection that's exclusively at Walgreens stores. I have 6 Walgreens stores in a 15 minute radius from my house and I literally went to all of them in search of this collection! Of course, I found it in the very last store I went to. 
    There are several amazing new products that I'll be reviewing in the coming days, but I wanted to start with the Photo Focus Studio Eyeshadow Palette ($7.99).  It comes in two versions- Paris Runway, which is a cooler-toned smoky palette, and Milano Collections, which is a warmer nudes palette. 
    Milano Collections

    Paris Runway

    I chose Milano Collections, since the shades didn't look as glittery and it seemed more wearable for everyday.

    It comes with 10 shades, 5 mattes and 5 shimmers, which are housed in a black compact with a see-through lid (no mirror).

    This palette actually comes with a double ended brush, rather than sponge-tipped applicators- which was a nice surprise!  Granted, it's not the best quality brush, but I used it to apply my eye makeup a few times and it worked really well.

    The blending side is a good size for getting in the crease...my only complaint is that the bristles aren't very densely packed.
    The eyeshadow brush side is very flat and reminds me of a concealer brush.  I like how small it is, because it made it easy to be more precise with shadow placement.

    As for the pigmentation- all I can say is OMG this palette is amazing! It's soft, it's buttery, it's crazy-pigmented.  It might be one of my favorite palettes ever! Normally with drugstore palettes (and even some high-end ones), the shimmery shades are soft and buttery while the mattes are powdery, streaky and lack pigmentation.  Not so with this at all. The matte shades might even be softer and easier to work with than the shimmers!  They almost felt like creams- they were that buttery and they went on so smooth with a ton of pigment in one swipe. The first time I used this, I actually put way too much on the brush, so a little bit goes a long way.  

    Here are the swatches and close-ups of the palette: 
    Shade 1- Matte Champagne
    Shade 2- Light Shimmery peachy pink
    Shade 3- Bronzy Gold
    Shade 4- Copper
    Shade 5- Chocolate Brown

    Shade 6- Medium Taupe Brown Matte
    Shade 7- Shimmery Pink-Brown
    Shade 8- Warm dark brown matte with a little shimmer
    Shade 9- Cool toned matte dark brown
    Shade 10- Matte Black
    I'm still in awe of this palette...especially the matte black shade at the end.  Usually black shades are chalky, powdery and streaky and often swatch like a dark gray, even in a lot of my high-end palettes. But not this one...this might be the most intense black eyeshadow I've ever seen in a palette, not to mention it's so soft and buttery it actually feels like a cream.

    Overall, I can't recommend this palette enough.  I say run, run, run to Walgreens as soon as possible to pick these up because I have a feeling they won't last long! Hopefully you don't have to visit 6 stores before you find it like I did.

    What do you think of this palette? Have you seen it in your local Walgreens yet?

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    PR Sample

    Alberto VO5 has just launched a brand new Beauty Oil called Shine, Glow & Go ($4.99), and I was really excited to be able to test it before its release! This product can be used all over the body, on hair and skin so it's a great time-saving, all-in-one product.  Let's take a look...
    Shine, Glow & Go comes in a clear bottle with a spray pump for easy dispensing. It's infused with VO5's signature 5 Essential Vitamins formula (vitamins E, H, C, B5 and B3) as well as 6 natural oils to nourish your hair and skin (Sunflower, Macadamia, Argan, Shea, Coconut, and Grapeseed). 

    Looking at the ingredient list for the first time, I was super impressed that I could pronounce and understand all of them- that's rare for a product you find at the supermarket or drugstore! It contains no mineral oil or other pore-clogging ingredients, so it actually absorbs into the skin and hair rather than sitting on top like a film. It also contains no silicones, parabens, or dyes. 
    The first time I used Shine, Glow & Go, I tried it on my hair, which is very fine and damaged from bleaching.  Following the directions, I sprayed it on wet hair, combed it through and styled. It was actually too heavy for me to use this way, and left my hair a little greasy, so I think spraying it directly on your hair might be better suited to those with thick or coarse hair.  The next time I used it, I sprayed it once into my hands, rubbed them together and then distributed it through the mid-shaft to ends of my hair.  Much better!  My split ends looked repaired and my hair was super shiny (and not weighed down).  So if you have fine hair, my advice would be to use this sparingly and don't spray it directly into your hair. You can also use it sparingly on dry hair to add shine and smoothness. 

    I've also been using this in the shower as an all-over body treatment.  I keep in inside the shower and as soon as I'm finished, I spray it all over damp skin to lock in the moisture (just watch out...it makes the floor slippery!).  It does an incredible job of moisturizing my super-dry skin and it has a fresh, light scent that I really like! 

    Here's a before and after on my arm.  In the first photo, you can see how dry, dull, and flaky my skin is, and in the second photo, my skin looks smooth and hydrated with a bit of a sheen where the light catches it. 


    Overall, I'm really impressed with VO5 Shine, Glow & Go!  It's a convenient product to use, in that this one product can hydrate you from head-to-toe. It's also free of mineral oil, silicones, parabens, and dyes and contains natural oils to nourish your skin and hair. Finally, it's super affordable and can be found at your local supermarket or drugstore! 
    It's available now at Walgreens, Kroger, Ralph's, H-E-B, Publix, Winn-Dixie, Bi-Lo, Hannaford, Giant Eagle and other retail stores for $4.99. 

    ***Disclosure- The product featured in this review was sent to me for consideration by a brand or PR agency. This in no way influenced my experience with the product- all opinions are my own, and I was not paid to write this review. ***

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    I was just on Haute Look and the Balm Cosmetics sale just started...everything's 50% off! So if you've been wanting to try some of their cult products like Mary Lou Manizer, The Nude Tude Palette, or the Meet Matte palette, now's your chance!
    Here's some of my picks...

    Pretty much the entire line is on sale now, even their skincare, brushes and foundations.  So definitely check out the Haute Look Sale if you want to stock up on some The Balm products!

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    Purchased by me.
    I decided it's time to revive Fashion Friday, which is something I did years ago, posting something fashion-related once a week. A lot of you have commented in the past that you'd like to see some fashion posts and I admit, it's a passion of mine that's right up there with beauty products! So I figured, why not? 
    I'm starting the series with something I just got in the mail this week and I'm so excited about it, I can't stop looking at my wrist. It's a Daniel Wellington Classic Sheffield Lady watch. I've been seeing tons of fashion bloggers wearing these and I became a bit obsessed with having one. The past 10 years or so, I've been wearing those chunky, metal Michael Kors watches in a variety of finishes (silver, gold, rose gold, white ceramic) and I felt like it was time for something new. As you'll see, this watch is classic, feminine, and can go from totally casual to dressed up, no problem. 
    They're shipped from Sweden and the FREE standard shipping is super fast, mine arrived in 48 hours! It came in a gorgeous stamped black and cream box, with the watch resting on a pillow inside.

    The Classic Lady watch comes in either rose gold or silver (I chose rose gold) and I chose the Sheffield strap which is black leather. They have a few leather straps to choose from, as well as colorful NATO straps that are fabric. The Classic line all come with the same watch face and you can also order additional straps to switch out (they give you a tool with the watch that allows you to remove the strap). Next, I want to order the St. Mawes strap ($65) because I think the rich brown will look beautiful with the rose gold accents in my watch.
    I just love the simplicity of this watch compared to my previous metal ones with all the crazy dials and sparkly accents.

    I love how it's oversized but not chunky. The watch itself is super thin and so lightweight, you barely feel it on your wrist. I get tons of compliments on this and people always want to know where I got it.
    Overall, I'm in love with this watch and I can't wait to order additional straps for it. I searched online before I purchased and got a coupon code (just Google Daniel Wellington coupon code) and brought the price down from $199 to $159, so definitely check for that before you order, if you're interested (the one I used has expired or I would pass it along!). To order, please visit Daniel Wellington's website.
    Are you a watch person? What are your favorite watch brands?

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    Purchased by Me
    Hard Candy Plumping Serum Gel Lipstick ($5 at Walmart) was introduced for Fall 2014 and I've been wanting to try them for a while now.  My local Walmart had an empty display of these for a long time and just recently got them in stock.  On a side note, I really wish Hard Candy was sold somewhere other than Walmart, because I'm just not a fan of going there. The makeup aisles are always a disaster area and everything I want to buy has been opened up and tested by customers...it's so annoying!
    Needless to say, I was only able to get three shades of this lipstick because the rest had been opened up (gross).  I got Beloved (a medium pink), Infamous (a pinky nude MLBB) and Admired (a pinky bronze nude).
    Beloved, Infamous, Admired
    These lipsticks come in silver tubes with black print. The tops of the caps are supposed to show you what the color looks like, but I found some of them to be a bit "off", for example Infamous looks nude on the cap but the bullet itself looks way more pink.

    Hard Candy Plumping Gel lipstick swatches
    From top: Beloved, Infamous, Admired
    The formula of these lipsticks is pure heaven, especially if you have dry lips.  These could be the most moisturizing lipsticks I've ever owned!  They feel so buttery, it's like they're a heavily pigmented balm. They literally melt into your lips and the color payoff is excellent.  They leave a high shine at first that wears away over time, but the best part is that the color lasts a really long time. I found that these stained my lips and 8 hours later, I was still seeing the color (although the glossiness was gone after about an hour or so).  I didn't have even a hint of dryness with these, and that's pretty incredible considering that most really moisturizing formulas have absolutely no staying power.  These are the best of both worlds!

    Admired, Infamous, Beloved
    As far as the "plumping" aspect goes, these aren't the type of lipsticks that plump by irritating the lips- they don't burn or sting at all.  The plumping comes from hyaluronic acid which is found naturally in our bodies. It's a substance your skin is full of when you're born (hence why babies have plump skin) and we lose it as we age.  So essentially, these are just "plumping" by filling in the skin with moisturizing hyaluronic acid to minimize lines and wrinkles to create a smoother, fuller appearance.
    These have a vanilla cake-type scent that's not heavy or overpowering.  I didn't notice it after a few minutes.

    As for the shades, I loved them all!  Admired is a bronzy-nude with some pink in it to keep it from being too brown.  Infamous and Beloved were very similar to each other, but I found Infamous was slightly more pink while Beloved was more peachy pink.
    Hard Candy Plumping Serum Gel Lipstick Admired

    Hard Candy Plumping Serum Gel Lipstick Infamous

    Hard Candy Plumping Serum Gel Lipstick Beloved
    Overall, these could be my favorite lipsticks ever!  I mean, it's not often that you can use the words "super moisturizing" and "long wearing" together when describing a lipstick. I really want to get the rest of the shades now but unfortunately the Walmart website says "In store only" so I'm forced to go back to Walmart to get them (if they've since replaced all of the opened ones). Ugh.

    Have you tried these yet?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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    A few weeks ago, I reviewed Simple Skincare's new Micellar Water, a non-rinse cleansing water (see my post here). Micellar waters have been huge in Europe and Canada for years and the most popular brand is Bioderma. Several readers told me that they travel to Canada to get it or have to pay high international shipping costs when ordering online.

    Well I have good news! Bioderma is coming to the US and will be available soon on the Beautylish site!
    Currently, you can head over to their site and enter your email address here to be notified when it becomes available. Yay!

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    This week is luxury week on one of my favorite money-saving sites, Ebates! That means luxury retailers are double the cash back until 1/26.
    If you've never used Ebates, it's really simple. Just sign up for a free account and then every time you want to shop online, go to Ebates first, find the store you want to shop at, and follow their link to the retailer so they can track your purchase and give you cash back.  If you do a lot of online shopping, it really adds up!  When I first joined, I kept forgetting to go there first and I'm kicking myself because I shop online so much, I really missed out.  They have pretty much every store you could think of and they'll either mail you a check or send the money to your Paypal account.

    So not only are they giving you back 8% of what you spend at Sephora in cash, but they're also offering Sephora coupon codes I'd wanted to share with you:

    Get a Free Deluxe Mini Cleanser with any $25+ order.
    Use Code-NEWCLEAN

    Free Clinique Smart Custom Repair Serum Deluxe Sample with $25+ order
    Use Code CLINSERUM

    Choice of Free Deluxe Mini Samples with $25+ Order- 
    Use Code NEWBEAUTY

    Free Skincare Sample Bag with $25+ Order-
    Use Code REFRESHER

    Free Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil Deluxe Mini with $25+ Order-

    Free Deluxe Sample with any $25 Order-
    Use Code YOURGIFT

    These are in addition to the normal 3 free samples you always get with every order!

    So if you have any shopping to do at Sephora, take advantage and get 8% back in cash!  Or, if you do a lot of online shopping anyway, definitely check out Ebates here!  Sometimes I actually order online vs. going to the store just so I can get the cash back.  It's like shopping with a coupon all the time.
    Do you use Ebates?  Do you save a lot with them?

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    Fergie's new Centerstage Collection from Wet N Wild is just hitting Walgreens stores (I had so much trouble finding it and had to visit 6 different Walgreens!) and a few days ago, I reviewed the new eyeshadow palette from the line (see that post here).  It was really impressive and made me excited to try the other products in the line.  When I first saw these new Around the Clock blushes ($4.99), I had to have them...the shades looked very "Nars" to me.  There are three shades in all, but one of them (Brush With Brilliance) was out of stock, which bummed me out because it looks like it could be a Nars Orgasm dupe.  

    Brush with Destiny & Brush with Danger
    These blushes claim to last up to 10 hours and deliver vivid, ultra-pigmented color.  I found them to be super soft and silky and easy to work with.  Actually, I had to tap my blush brush to remove some color because it picked up a ton of it on the first swipe.

    Brush With Destiny is a peachy shade with gold shimmer and a hint of pink- it reminds me of Nars Lovejoy.  Brush With Danger is a cool-toned matte pink that reminds me of Nars Desire.
    Brush With Brilliance, the one I wasn't able to get, is a peachy pink with golden shimmer, reminiscent of Nars Orgasm.
    Brush With Destiny, Brush With Danger

    Brush With Destiny

    Brush With Danger

    fergie around the clock blush swatches
    Brush With Destiny, Brush With Danger
    Overall, these blushes are absolutely fantastic!  They're heavily pigmented and lasted all day on my dry skin (and usually powder blushes fade fast on me).  I'm also in love with the shades, as they're total Nars dupes.  So far, I can't get enough of Fergie's Centerstage Collection's Spring 2015 line.  I can't wait to try the rest of the products I bought!
    Have you seen this collection at Walgreens yet?  Or tried anything from the new line?

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    I just wanted to let you guys know about a really great deal going on right now at Hautelook.  The Smashbox Smoke & Mirrors Set ($85) is currently only $15 (yes, you read that right!).  Here's what's included:

    Waterproof Shadow Liner in Luminous Fig (0.09 oz): Stay-put shadow and longwearing liner in one- there's even a built-in smudger! Give eyes soft definition wherever, whenever with this travel-friendly, mistake-proof shadow liner. The creamy, waterproof formula glides on effortlessly for lasting look possibilities.
    - Color: Luminous Fig (brown)
    - Totally waterproof, crease-resistant formula
    - Smudge as a liner or blend as a shadow for allover, long-wearing color
    - Light reflecting pearls give high drama color and shimmer, while emollients create a silky, creamy texture

     Smokebox Photo Op Eye Shadow Palette (0.16 oz): Our iconic smoky palette has a new look! It now includes a double-ended brush and fresh new shades of our Photo Op Eye Shadows for creating the ultimate smoldering eye looks.
    - Colors: Alabaster (matte bisque), Thunder (shimmery smokey grey), Blackout (matte jet black), Roast (reddish brown with gold flecks), Black Currant (suede/matte-matte plum), Seafoam (sheen-soft mint).
     O Gloss in Gold (0.34 fl oz): A lip gloss that turns lips your own perfect shade of peach. This "intuitive" gloss is formulated to go from gold to gilded peach, transforming your lips with a gorgeous hue. Packed with Smashbox's exclusive micro-circulating Goji Berry-C Complex(TM), ginkgo biloba, pomegranate seed antioxidants, revitalizing marine botanicals, and moisturizing avocado oil, this gloss is sure to make your lips look extra lustrous. 

    This deal is only available at Hautelook.com until tomorrow, so head over to Haute Look before they're gone! 

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    Several weeks ago, I spotted the new Physicians Formula Sexy Booster Cat Eye Mascara at Ulta for $9.99 (with a $2 off coupon right on the package that I forgot to use). Like most Physicians Formula products, this one makes quite a few claims and some of them are kind of...interesting.  Let's take a look!

    First, this mascara claims to be a highly-pigmented, carbon black formula that gives you full, dramatic, extremely black lashes to perfectly compliment a cat eye look. It also claims to be long-wearing up to 24 hours. After that, the claims get a little weird...

    This formula is infused with the scent of warm vanilla and pheremone-mimicking ingredients like Androstadienone, Cocoa Extract ("the love chemical") and Horny Goatweed for sexy and seductive lashes. I had to look up Androstadienone because I had no idea what it was, and it turns out that it's a pheremone secreted by men in their sweat (eww) that can elevate a woman's mood, alleviate PMS, and increase intimacy, comfort and caring feelings. Hmm...interesting.

    Here's the ingredient list and I noticed that fragrance is somewhere in the middle, rather toward the end where I find it most often.  The vanilla scent in this mascara is very powerful.  Don't get me wrong, I love how it smells, but once I applied it to my lashes, I kept smelling vanilla for hours afterward.  So if you're sensitive to fragrances in cosmetics, you might want to steer clear of this.  I actually enjoyed it, though it was a bit weird to wear fragrance on my lashes.  Definitely a first for me!

    The tube is very interesting as well...they've decorated a plain black tube with fishnet print and raised swirls of velvety-feeling material that give the tube a fuzzy texture.  A little stiletto charm completes the design...it's probably the most decorative mascara in my collection.
    The brush is pretty large with short spikes.  I actually love the brush...I'm usually not a fan of big bristle brushes because they tend to get mascara all over my eyelids, but because these bristles are short, I found that I was able to get the brush right into my lash line without making a mess, and the bristles acted as a comb to keep my lashes from clumping.
    The formula is so thick, I had a hard time pushing the wand back into the tube!  It's not too wet or too dry, just very thick and waxy, but that was a good thing!  It was really easy to get big lashes without layering on too many coats...I noticed a big difference after just one coat.
    Here are my before and afters.  This did a great job with length and volume!


    Overall, I'm really not sure if my lashes turn into some sort of man-attracting aphrodisiac while I'm wearing this, but I do love the way they look!  This mascara makes them longer and fuller, while staying soft (it doesn't make them crunchy at all).  It also lasted all day without smudging or flaking so it's definitely long-wearing, though I can't substantiate the 24-hour claim.
    If you are ok with your lashes smelling like vanilla, I would definitely recommend giving this a try!
    You can find it at CVS, Rite Aid and at Ulta HERE.

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    Makeup Revolution is constantly launching new products...so much that I can barely keep up with them! Even though this UK brand is only online so far and I've been basically ordering blindly, I haven't received one thing I didn't like yet! The quality is just amazing for the price and though the shipping costs are a little high, I usually wait and order a few things at once so I'm not ordering that frequently.
    I just placed an order last week that arrived yesterday and now there are new products out that I really wish I had added to my order! Sigh...next time.

    First up is the Ultra 32 Shade Eyeshadow Palette in Beyond Flawless ($12.63) and Flawless Matte ($12.63).  These palettes look so pretty and since I've already tried 5 or 6 Makeup Revolution eyeshadow palettes so I know how pigmented and soft these will be.  I really want the matte one, but the Flawless looks amazing too.

    Beyond Flawless

    Flawless Matte

    Next up are the Lip Lava Melted Lipsticks ($4.72 each).  These are an intense lipstick formula melted to create an impactful gloss. It's funny because Cover Girl just released a line of glosses last month that are also called Lip Lava (see my review here) but those don't claim to be melted lipsticks....they're just super shimmery glosses. These don't appear to have shimmer in them, based on the swatches on the MR website. These come in 5 shades, and they have a deal that if you buy all 5 shades, you get one free for a total of $18.88 (see that deal here).

    Finally, the Radiant Lights Palette is now available ($12.63).  This features all three of their Radiant Lights highlighters in one palette and I'm thinking this might be an Hourglass Ambient Lights palette dupe!
    So which new products are you excited to try?  I seriously want them all!  If you have any questions about ordering from Makeup Revolution, drop me a comment below...I've ordered from them 5 or 6 times already so I can probably answer your questions! :)

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    As I was getting ready for bed tonight, I decided to moisturize my skin with one of my tried and true favorites, The Body Shop Coconut Beautifying Oil, and it got me thinking that I should be sharing these favorite products with you!

    I originally bought this because of the scent. I love anything coconut scented and this one is especially delicious because it's a pure, sweet, nutty coconut...not suntan lotion or Pina Colada like a lot of other coconut scented products are. I tried some in the store (this was 4 or 5 years ago), then walked around the mall for a while and couldn't stop sniffing my arm. So I went back and bought it and have continued to buy it ever since.
    It's a very fast-absorbing dry oil and it contains Fair Trade Organic Virgin Coconut oil, plus Sweet Almond, Marula, and Kukui oils.
    You can use it on your skin and hair but I've only used it on my skin, both when I get out of the shower in the morning and at night before bed. When I was pregnant with my son two years ago, I faithfully applied it to my belly twice a day and I didn't get one stretch mark! Granted, I can't be sure it was because of this oil...I may have just been lucky. But I have a feeling this had at least a little to do with that. :)
    If you're not into Coconut scents, the Body Shop also makes this oil in many different scents: Shea, Cocoa Butter, Moringa, Olive, Strawberry, Mango, Pink Grapefruit andSatsuma.
    Now through tomorrow (1/28/15) the Body Shop is actually offering 50% off Bath and Body, so these oils are only $7 instead of $14. It's a great time to try one if you're thinking about it! I just ordered another bottle...I'm obsessed. The Shea Oil is also a favorite of mine...it's a sweet, subtle nutty scent that's warm yet still fresh and clean smelling. 
    Have you tried these, or do you have a favorite body moisturizer that you use? I'd love to hear about it! 

    The Body Shop

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