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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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    Today only at Ulta, Urban Decay's Shattered Face Case palette is 50% off ($22 instead of $44)!

    This is a great chance to get 5 of Urban Decay's Iconic Eye shadows (Nameless, Remix, Shakedown, Minor Sin, and Bleach), 2 Blushes (Overexposed and Temper), a Highlighter in Glint, 24/7 Eye Liner in Zero (black) and Super-saturated High Gloss Lip Color in Lovechild. 
    Also, Ulta is giving away free samples of Urban Decay's Complexion Primer Potion and Naked Skin Liquid makeup with any Urban Decay order!

    I have a feeling these won't last long, so head over to Ulta if you want one!

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    Maybelline has launched two new limited edition shades of Master Glaze for their new Nude collection...Nude Rebellion and Barely Pink (I posted a photo of both to my Facebook page last week). I bought Barely Pink because I thought it might be a Nars Multiple in Orgasm dupe...take a look!

    Here's the swatches of Nars Multiple in Orgasm (Left) and Maybelline Master Glaze in Barely Pink (Right).

    They're very close, but the Nars is a tad pinker. Still, if you're looking for something similar to at a fraction of the price, check out this limited edition shade from Maybelline!
    To see my review of Master Glaze, Click Here.

    I'll pin this to my Dupes Board on Pinterest!

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  • 02/24/14--12:08: Beauty Box 5 Review Team
  • I'm super excited to announce that I've been selected to be on the Beauty Box 5 review team! This means that I'll be reviewing each month's box right here on the Budget Beauty Blog.  For those who don't know,  Beauty Box 5 is a monthly subscription box service that costs $12 per month (see my review here).

    I just got advance notice that March's box will include BellaPierre's Makeup Base Primer,  worth $18.99, which is already more than the cost of the box! 
    This eye shadow primer can also be used as a concealer or to take shimmer shadows and turn them matte. 

    To get March's box, you have to sign up by Feb 28th! To register, head over to www.beautybox5.com . Stay tuned for my review in the coming weeks!

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    L'Oreal Paris has launched some new products for 2014 in the U.K. and while I have no way of knowing,  I hope they show up here in the U.S. this summer!
    That's usually the way it works, products launch in Europe first and get here about 6 months later.
    These products are from the Nude Magique line (Magic Nude in the U.S.). So far, we have the foundation and BB Cream, but in the U.K., they also have...

    Nude Magique CC Creams.  These are color correcting primers that come in three shades...Green for anti-redness, Peach for Anti-Fatigue, and Violet for anti-dullness. Finally, CC creams that are actual color correctors! 

    Nude Magique Blur Cream. This one I can't wait for...I might have to find someone who will ship to the U.S!  I'm guessing its like Miracle Blur but its tinted!! It comes in light/medium and dark. Its supposed to get rid of pores and blur imperfections. 

    Nude Magique BB Concealer looks similar in packaging to our Visible Lift CC Concealer with a rollerball applicator. This one has caffeine and is supposed to help with puffiness.

    Finally, Nude Magique BB Blush is a transparent gel that turns into your perfect shade when applied. It comes in one universal shade.

    I can't wait to see if these arrive in the U.S. this summer! I'll let you know as soon as I hear something.

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    I wasn't a big fan of L'Oreal's Miracle Blur that launched last year, as I found it to be too thick, pasty, and no matter what I did, it would roll off my face in little balls. So I was hesitant to try the new Moisture Blur version, but I ended trying it because the idea of a primer and moisturizer in one was pretty exciting. I'm glad I did! 

    This formula does contain glycerin, which draws water to the skin from the air, salicylic acid which is an exfoliant, and retinyl palmitate, which is Vitamin A, and likely what they're calling "Pro Retinol". This form is gentler than applying retinol directly, because it turns to retinol once in the skin. This also makes it not as effective as retinol for a wrinkle treatment. This formula also contains silicones, as most primers do.

    It comes in a tube just like the original, but it's white vs. red. The product is dispensed through a hole that makes it easy to control how much product you're getting. Unlike Miracle Blur, this is much easier to squeeze out.

    The formula itself feels creamy, like a hybrid moisturizer and primer. It's thick, but not as much as Miracle Blur, and it spreads nicely on the skin (no rolling into little balls either!). Since my skin is dryer than dry, I use a regular moisturizer first, then use this as a moisturizing primer. So if you're super dry, this won't do on its own, but for everyone else, you can skip the moisturizer and just use this over your serum, if you use one. In the summer, I'm thinking I can probably use this on its own.
    I was impressed with how this made my skin look! It gave a soft focus look, imperfections were minimized, pores filled in and it just looked so smooth!

    This might be my new favorite drugstore primer! I think it does such a good job of blurring in addition to the smoothing that other primers do. I find I don't need as much makeup when I wear this. Have you tried it? Thoughts?

    Disclosure: I purchased this at Target for $19.99

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    My March Julep Maven box arrived today, and I was so excited because I had switched my profile from It Girl (you get 3 nail polishes in your monthly box) to Modern Beauty (you get two beauty products).  I love that you can switch your profile each month, based on what products you'd like to receive.  During the preview, I saw that there would be two lip products in the March Modern Beauty Box, a lip scrub and hydrating treatment.  I also added on a nail polish for $5 because I loved the color. Take a look at what I got!

    Here are the cards that came in the box that describe the lip products:

    First up is the Luxe Lip Conditioning Treatment.  This comes in a squeeze tube with a metal applicator, which feels nice and cool when applying the treatment.  

    This treatment retails for $24 ($19.50 for Mavens), which is more than the cost of the whole box ($19.99)! 
    Enriched with natural ingredients that soothe, hydrate, and plump lips, this silky-smooth moisturizer sets a new bar for balm.
    Features & Benefits:

  • Cooling metal tip soothes dry, chapped lips & stimulates microcirculation

  • Omega-rich pumpkin seed oil boosts lipids & helps retain elasticity

  • Healing oil blend heals enhances definition & locks in hydration

  • Vitamin E unleashes protective antioxidants to prevent collagen loss

  • Natural botanical waxes create a soft, silky-smooth texture

  • Ingredients: 
    Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Polyethylene, Hydrogenated Soybean OilCetearyl Olivate, Glycerin, Sorbitan Olivate, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Olive Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Polyglyceryl-10 Heptahydroxystearate, Hydrogenated Jojoba Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Coffea Arabica (Coffee) Seed Oil, Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax, Jojoba Esters, Polyglycerin-3, Phytosterols, Phenoxyethanol, Flavor, Mica, Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Tin Oxide- (CI 7786-1); Tltanium Dioxide- (CI 77891)

    This balm is hydrating and feels really smooth on my lips.  Not sticky at all!  It has a peachy color, but doesn't seem to add much color to the lips.  It has a yummy sweet nutty scent, like shea butter. I'll likely use this as an overnight treatment as well as throughout the day.  Love it!

    Next is the Buff Lip Scrub ($20, or $16 for Mavens).  This is one of my favorite lip products already!  
    This exfoliating, hydrating scrub makes it easy to de-flake on the go—just massage on and wipe off. Your lips will look and feel better right away.
    Features & Benefits:

  • Fine sugar crystals act as a natural exfoliant.

  • Panthenol (aka vitamin B5) dives deep to heal & moisturize

  • Shea butter leaves lips smooth

  • It comes in a twist up pen form, with a soft flocked applicator.  You twist it up to dispense the scrub, which comes out looking like a clear gloss with sugar granules in it (it wouldn't photograph very well). I rubbed it into my lips with the applicator first, then rubbed my lips together several times.  It felt gritty, yet also there was a hydrating aspect to it, since the sugar is in a gloss-like balm.  After, my lips felt so smooth and the dry flaky patches were gone!  

    Ingredients: Polyisobutene, Octyldodecanol, Polyglyceryl-3 Diisostearate, Vp/Hexadecene Copolymer, Sucrose, Microcrystalline Wax / Cera Microcristallina, Myristyl Myristate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate, Panthenol, Fragrance, Tocopherol, Benzyl Alcohol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Limonene, Citral, Linalool, Geraniol, Citronellol.

    Finally, I added this polish on for $4.99 (it was in this month's It Girl Box, but I didn't want to miss out!)  It's a pretty blue shade that I thought would be perfect for Spring, called Margaret ($14, or 11.20 for Mavens).  

    Plus, as a bonus, they gave me a candy stick (see the second picture up top).

    So overall, this month's Maven box was worth $58 retail (including the nail polish) and I paid $24.98!  Without the nail polish add-on, the Modern Beauty Box would have been $19.99, and just the two lip products are worth $44 by themselves! 

    To join Julep Maven and get your first box for free, use the link below!  Take the quiz to find out if you're an It Girl, Modern Beauty, or any of the other themes, or just choose which box you'd like.  Then at checkout, use the Promo Code FREEBOX.  

    Julep Beauty Inc.

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    In the February 2014 issue of Allure magazine, Olay's Night Resurfacing Elixir made the editor's list of products to buy, plus it was featured in a story about alpha and beta hydroxy acid skin treatments.  I had seen this product many times at the drugstore, but always found the price tag to be a bit steep at close to $30.  At that price, I felt like I might as well just throw in a few more bucks and get a luxury product.

    But the other day I was at CVS, $5 Extra Bucks burning a hole in my pocket, and I noticed that Olay now has trial sizes of their popular Regenerist line for right around $11.  When I added in my Extra Bucks, I got to take home the Night Resurfacing Elixir (.5 oz) for $6 and change!

    For those of you who didn't read the Allure article, or are unfamiliar with glycolic acid, here's a quick rundown...

    Of all the alpha hydroxy acids, Glycolic Acid, which is derived from sugar has the smallest molecule size so it penetrates the skin the deepest. It's also the most effective.  The next smallest molecule is lactic acid (from milk), and then fruit acids (from citrus).

    This treatment contains between 8-10% Glycolic Acid.  It regenerates the skin and makes cells turn over faster.  Your skin is forever creating new cells, and they travel from the deepest layers up to the top where they shed off.  As we age the dead skin cells don't shed as quickly, and instead sit on top, causing your skin to look dull and have a rougher texture.  This layer also prevents your skincare products from penetrating very far.  So how long does it take your skin to shed it's dead cells?

    Rate of cell turnover by age:

    Babies- 14 Days
    Teenagers- 21-28 Days
    By 30's and 40's - 28-42 Days
    50 and up- 42-84 Days

    Olay's Night Resurfacing Elixir speeds up this process so your skin acts younger again.  One thing it won't do, however, is get rid of deep wrinkles- you still need an anti aging cream for that.  But this will help your anti-aging products work better by getting that barrier of dead skin out of the way and letting them penetrate further.

    This comes in a pump bottle and the serum is thin, almost like water.  I didn't find it to be sticky and it absorbed quickly.

    This is supposed to take the place of your night moisturizer, but I didn't find it particularly hydrating, so I use a night cream over it. 
    I do recommend using this at night, since glycolic acid can make your skin sun-sensitive. It didn't irritate my skin at all, but I don't have sensitive skin.  This is supposed to be pretty gentle, but if you're sensitive, save your receipt in case you need to bring it back.  Also, don't use it every night at first, work up slowly.

    After the first night, I woke up and when I looked in the mirror, I had forgotten that I used it the night before for a second and thought, "wow, my skin looks good today!"  Then I remembered.
    I've been using it every night for a week and I have to say my skin is smoother, brighter and has that "glow" back that I had in my 20's.  I no longer think that $30 is too much to spend on this product.  I'll be purchasing the full size as soon as this one runs out!

    Have you tried this yet?

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    NYX has launched a bunch of new products for Spring 2014, and I ordered several of them to try since I love NYX products for the most part.  One that I was really drawn to was the Invincible Foundation- it states that it's fullest coverage and while my skin isn't terrible, I find that most drugstore foundations don't cover everything.  You can still see my red nose and some freckling on my cheeks coming through.  I wanted something that I could use when I have a special occasion or just want to look flawless.

    This foundation costs $12 at NYX.com and I selected the shade Porcelain, which says "Light Complexion with a Pink Undertone".  They have two shades that are for fair skin that are lighter than this, and 15 shades all together.  I was impressed that they had shades for pink undertones as they are hard to find!  I heard a statistic once that 80% of the population has yellow undertones which is why most foundations are yellow-based, so I'm in the minority and most foundations look yellow on me.

    This comes in a .85oz tube and is easy to dispense.  

    I found this shade to be quite orange on me, despite the "pink undertone" claim.  Hmmm...

    I'm a little disappointed, as this is not full coverage and certainly not "fullest coverage".  To me that would be like tattoo-covering power and this is medium to full at best.  That being said, it does give better coverage than I've found with most drugstore foundations and it didn't cake on my dry skin (I used Garnier's 5 Second Blur Primer beforehand).  It has a satin finish that's neither matte nor dewy, and I like that (when you have dry skin, the word matte is terrifying!).

    Once I blended it out, the color wasn't bad, but I'm a little sad that it wasn't as described.  Maybe I should have opted for one of the fair shades, but they only had one with a yellow undertone and one with a beige undertone. Oh well...it's hard to choose the right color when you're ordering online. 

    Overall, despite the color and the fact that it's not "fullest" coverage, I was still able to cover my red nose by adding a bit more foundation and building it up a bit.  So I'll probably continue to use this when I want more coverage than my other foundations.  So not a total fail! 

    Have you tried this?  What do you think?

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    Last week, I posted about some new L'Oreal products that launched in the UK in the Nude Magique line (Magic Nude in the US).  I'm crossing my fingers that we get the same products this summer- usually we do but you never know.  I was on the Boots and Superdrug websites checking things out and decided I couldn't wait to try this blush.  Since neither of those stores ship to the US, I took to Ebay and found some sellers.  It arrived very quickly and I was happy I tried it.

    This blush is a one size fits all shade, L'Oreal calls "Universal Rosy Blush".  I don't get why they're calling it BB Blush.  I feel like companies just throw the BB in there now because it's a "buzzword". Seems kinda silly to me.

    It starts as a clear gel and warms on contact with the skin and is supposed to turn into the perfect rosy shade for you.  You can see below that by the time I took the picture, it was already starting to turn pink a little bit from the warmth of my skin.  It feels really silky and velvety, like a face primer.

    This product isn't for people just starting out with makeup or who aren't used to applying gel or liquid blushes (such as Benefit's Benetint).  You need to work very quickly while blending or it will stain and look streaky in areas you didn't want it to.  The swatch below is heavily applied so that you can see the color in the photo, but in person, this looks really natural and pretty!  I start with a tiny amount and blend it in, then add more as needed.

    This reminds me exactly of Smashbox's O-Glow ($28).  

    Even buying it overseas I still paid much less than $28!  After conversion it was about $14.  I'm guessing that when/if it comes out here, it'll be around $8-$9.  
    If you're interested in trying this out, I purchased it from This Seller on Ebay.  If they no longer carry it, you can do a search on Ebay- I've seen quite a few people selling them the past week or so but they run out fast!

    I'll post this as a dupe to Smashbox's O-Glow on my Dupes Board
    So would you try this out?  Those of you in the UK...have you bought this yet?  What did you think of it?

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  • 02/21/14--14:13: Henry- 8 Months Old!
  • I can't believe my baby boy is 8 months old already!  Time flies.  Ever the proud Mama, I thought I'd share some pictures I took of him today.

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    N.Y.C Cosmetics has just launched some new products for Spring.  I spotted a few at Rite Aid so far, but I'm waiting for the rest to come out.  

    Here they are...

    Skin Matching Luminizer -$4.99- Comes in Seven Shades

    NYC SKIN MATCHING LUMINIZER is a new category of foundation: the super natural. Translation: it’s your skin, but better. The silky smooth foundation has a light-diffusing formula for maximum radiance and a featherweight consistency and appearance, so skin can breathe easy… literally. And finding your perfect match has never been easier. Whether you’re fair, dark or somewhere in between, the six shades will adjust to seamlessly fit your complexion. NYC Skin Matching Luminizer is a natural skin perfector for every skin tone – all over radiance in a New York Minute.

    Smooth Skin BB Creme- $3.99- Comes in Light and Medium

    NYC SMOOTH SKIN BB CREME. Get the ‘perfectly real’ look with a new ‘all-in-one’ product from NYC. Great skin…..To GO! So let’s hear a huge yay for New Smooth Skin BB Crème, because that’s exactly what it does, it visibly minimizes pores,erases skin imperfections, minimizes fine lines, smoothes & brightens skin for a natural luminosity and helps protect skin from the ravages of the city… and it lasts...for up to 14 hours. Your skin, at it’s most beautiful,fast. SO New York!

    Smooth Skin Mousse Foundation- $3.99- Comes in 4 Shades

    Your heart still battling it out over which NYC French brasserie serves New York’s best chocolate soufflé? Well we’ve found the best in soufflé foundation so whatever your decision you’ll always look good when indulging. NYC Smooth Skin Mousse Foundation is bound to satisfy all your natural, flawless, lasting perfect skin cravings. So while the French may master the art of chocolate, NYC lets you master the art of looking good.
    Perfect flawless coverage for natural blemish free looking skin. Simply dip, smooth and a blend away!

    City Proof Mascara- $3.49

    MEET YOUR SECRET WEAPON FOR TAKING YOUR LASH LOOK FROM DAY TO NIGHT WITH JUST ONE SWIPE. The innovative formula is designed to create buildable volume, while magically resisting clumpy build-up. That means natural volumized lashes by day, and, with one more coat, an amped-up voluminous fringe at night, without ever getting stiff or brittle. You call the shots: it’s mascara that you build to work for you. 

    Big Bold Volume by the Lash Mascara- $4.99

    GET BOLD EMPIRE LASHES WITH NYC’S BIG BOLD VOLUME BY THE LASH MASCARA. The high-tech MegaIndividualizer brush amps up your total fringe impact by individually coating and volumizing each and every lash up to 12x more. No smudges, no clumps, just a traffic-stopping wow effect. 

    Which ones are you excited to try?  I've never tried NYC foundations before, but I kinda want to try all three of these new ones! At first I thought the Luminizer was just a highlighter, but from the description, it sounds like its foundation. And of course the Big Bold Volume mascara since I loved their original Big Bold. 

    I noticed that my local Target has marked down half of their NYC stock on clearance, so hopefully they're making room for these to arrive soon. Have you seen the new products where you live?

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    My 8 month old, Henry has developed an obsession with feet.  He stares at everyone's feet as they walk (I think he's trying to figure out how we do it!) and when he's lying down, he's always grabbing his own and putting them in his mouth. The other day, we were sitting on the floor playing and he kept trying to grab my bare feet.  I suddenly noticed how rough, dry and calloused they've become.  I always swore I wouldn't be that new Mom who doesn't take care of her beauty needs, but here I am doing just that!  I desperately need a pedicure but I also decided that I needed some products to maintain them at home. 
    I was in Target yesterday and discovered these Earth Therapeutics Sole Softening Gel Booties.  They regularly sell at places like Ulta for $25, but Target had them on clearance for $4.98!  I put them in my basket immediately. (At press time, they are no longer on Target's website, but if you want to check your local store, I found them in the beauty section in the aisle with the all-natural products like Weleda, Dr Bronner's, and Eco Tools brushes).

    These Intensive All-Over Moisture Gel Booties are completely lined with a hydrating gel matrix that covers and actively moisturizes the entire foot-top to bottom, heel to toe.
    The secret is in the proprietary Transdermal Gel Matrix & trade [TGM] & trade lining which continuously delivers a deep-nourishing moisture infusion to replenish and revive dry, damaged heels and feet.
    These Gel Booties are made with a super-plush, super-comfortable fabric and have a non-skid surface. Your feet will feel softer, smoother, healthier. Gel Lining is latex-free and hypoallergenic. Fits most foot sizes; One pair per package.

    These are super comfy and soft on the outside with a cushiony gel inside.  I will caution you, even though they have skid-resistant soles, they were still slippery on my hardwood floors!  Here's what they look like on:

    I used these yesterday after my shower and didn't put lotion on.  After about 3 hours of wearing them around the house, my feet were softer and less rough.  But the real magic happens when you put lotion on first and then these socks.  Unlike regular socks, the gel lining keeps the lotion from evaporating and from getting all over the place.  This morning my feet were softer than they've been...maybe ever! I did have to kick them off during the night because my feet were super sweaty). Next I'm going to try these with an exfoliating cream to work on softening those calluses.  

    The gel inside will last up to 40 wears, and you can wash these as well (hand wash, air dry). I say run to your local Target to snag a pair or three before they're gone!  

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    When Winter starts coming to an end, I always start thinking more about exfoliation and getting rid of the dull, dry, dead skin on my face and body to reveal the bright smooth skin beneath. I do it here and there during the Winter, but I tend to get a bit lazy about it since I'm covered up anyway. But now is a good time to start because pretty soon I'll be wearing dresses, shorts, sandals and tank tops. Plus, my face can always use more exfoliation in the wintertime because that's when my skin is driest.

    So in no particular order, here are my Top Ten budget-friendly exfoliating products!

    1. Olay Fresh Effects Exfoliating Wet Cloths $5.99

    These aren't your average exfoliating wipe- they pack some serious grit and scrubbing power on one side, and are smooth on the other for makeup removal.  Plus, the fresh scent is a great pick-me-up! See my review HERE.

    This Allure Best of Beauty award winner is a hybrid mask and scrub.  Smooth a layer over the skin and leave it for a few minutes to let the charcoal draw out toxins and impurities.  Then rub it in and the sugar granules polish and remove dead skin.  My skin always glows after using this and it comes in a huge tube for $3.99...crazy! See my review HERE.

    For those days you don't feel like dealing with a scrub, these pads use gentle lactic acid to loosen and remove the dead skin from your face.  So simple to use, just swipe it all over your face once and toss! These use the same ingredient as Philosophy's Microdelivery Pads, so they're a bargain dupe.  See my review HERE.

    This body scrub is heavenly!  It contains rich Shea Butter, Macadamia, Avocado, and Sweet Almond Oils to soften skin, plus sugar to polish dry patches.  The tropical, beachy Hawaiian Kukui scent is my favorite, but this also comes in scents like Almond Honey, Tropical Mango, and Brazilian Nut plus more new scents!  I love the natural ingredients and that Tree Hut products are made in the USA. See my review HERE.

    This Glycolic Acid serum works overnight to exfoliate the skin and reveal a fresh new complexion. After only a few nights of using this, my skin looked brighter and had a years-younger glow. After 2 weeks, I'm actually using less makeup!  It's on the more expensive side, but CVS has .5oz trial sizes for $11 that will last a few weeks.  That's what I did, and I'll definitely be purchasing the full size next. See my review HERE.

    Forget the Pedi-Egg or other foot scrapers- this battery-powered exfoliator is unbeliveable!  It literally pulverizes hard, callused skin on your feet and turns it into dust in a few seconds.  You can get pedicure results at home with this tool...I totally love it. It's so easy to use and you get really fast results with it.  Read my review HERE.

    This lip exfoliator from ELF is made from Sugar, Shea Butter, Avocado, Grape and Jojoba Oils.  Apply like you would a lipstick, and rub your lips back and forth while the sugar grains slough off dead skin and the oils and butters moisturize.  A steal at only $3, since there are similar luxury products that cost a lot more!

    When you don't need a heavy duty scrub and just want some light exfoliation, this body wash is amazing! With brown sugar and karite butter, it's really moisturizing and foams up nicely to clean your body and gently polish.  Plus the brown sugar scent is delicious!

    This soft rotating cleansing brush takes any cleanser and works it deep into the skin for the ultimate cleanse.  I use mine at night and it removes makeup and gunk from pores better than just cleansing alone.  It has two speeds and is gentle yet effective!

    I got a pair of these in a recent Beauty Box 5, and I like them so much better than a shower pouf!  The gritty texture provides great exfoliation- just put them on, pour some body wash into your hands, rub them together to create lather and go.  You can use any body wash or soap you want because the gloves do all the work, polishing away dry dead skin.  

    What are your favorite exfoliating products?  Have you tried any of these, and if so, what did you think?  Drop a comment below!

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    I love Pacifica's perfumes and bath and body products, but I just recently found out that they have makeup too! I love mascaras and was drawn to their Stellar Gaze Length and Strengthen formula ($14) that's 100% Vegan and Cruelty free! It's supposed to condition the lashes with Coconut Oil and Vitamin B.  I have yet to find an all natural mascara that works well, so I was hoping this one would be the exception!  Take a look...

    I love the tube it comes in...it feels heavy and expensive and has a pretty celestial design on it.  The brush is large and chunky but not so much that it gets all over my eyelids when applying.

    This formula is really buildable so you get a natural lash look with one coat and it builds to quite a bit of volume and length with multiple coats.  Here are my before and afters...I thought it made my lashes look great- no clumps and the formula wasn't too wet and goopy it was just right.  The brush created the perfect amount of separation.  It doesn't give a false lash look but it doesn't claim to.  



    I love that this mascara is all natural and works so well!  Pacifica hit a home run with this one- I love it!  It left my lashes feeling soft and not stiff or brittle even after all the coats I put on.  
    If you're interested in learning more about Stellar Gaze or to purchase, please click below: 

    Vegan Mineral Color

    Have you tried any Pacifica products?  What are your favorites?

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  • 03/12/14--17:23: Birchbox March 2014 Reveal
  • I got my March 2014 Birchbox today and it didn't disappoint!  Take a look...

    Jergens BB Body. I already have the full size, but I'm glad to have a travel size for summer vacations.  I love this stuff!  They also gave a coupon for $2.00 off.  Full Size 7.5oz. $10.79.  

    No. 7 Perfume by English Laundry.  Described as a fruity floral with a vanilla almond base.  I wasn't crazy about the floral top notes when I first sprayed this, but it mellowed into the vanilla almond scent on me after only about 5 minutes and I haven't stopped smelling my wrist all night! Full Size-$90

    Coola Tinted Matte Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30.  I wasn't excited about getting an SPF at first until I tried it on my hand.  This is a silky mousse like texture that mattifies and makes the skin feel smooth, almost like a lightly tinted primer!  No more greasy sunscreen- I want to buy this for the summer, although the full size is quite expensive.  Full Size 1.7oz. $36

    Luster Now Instant White Toothpaste.  I'm excited about this, especially since I've been using Crest Whitestrips to whiten my teeth.  This will add that much more whitening power, plus the blue tint gives instant whitening gratification.  Can't wait to try this! 

    Havvn Night Cream $30.  This is an all natural anti-aging cream developed by a professor who wanted to make a chemical free cream that works.  I tried some on my hand and it feels amazingly moisturizing on my dry skin.  Can't wait to try this tonight!

    What did you get in your Birchbox this month? Anything different?

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    Last week, I posted about some new NYC products that are hitting the drugstores this month.  So far, I've only seen the two new mascaras- Big Bold Volume by the Lash and City Proof.  I really liked the original Big Bold Volume so I decided to try this one first. 

    The Claims:
    It has an "individualizer" brush to grab every lash and give 12x more volume and the formula is supposed to not only multiply lashes by 200% but keep them feeling flexible for up to 16 hours.  

    My Experience:
    The brush is one of those rubber bristle brushes, but what I really liked about it was that it had a zillion little spikes which really helped me to comb through every lash and avoid clumps.  I love love love this brush!

    The formula was also great.  It wore all day without smudging or clumping and it gave my lashes a good amount of volume and length.  But the real standout here is the brush because it separated my lashes and gave them a nice fanned out look. It also didn't make my lashes feel crunchy or stiff.

    Overall, this is a great mascara for an even better price!  I got this at CVS for $4.99.  I'm excited to try the other new NYC products, and I hope that the stores near me stock them soon!

    Have you tried this, or seen any of the new Spring products near you yet?

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    I got my Beauty Box 5 today, and I'm excited because I'm so happy with everything I got! For those of you who aren't familiar with Beauty Box 5, it's a monthly subscription service that offers 5 samples for $12 a month.  Take a look at what was included for March...

    Swissco Dual-Sided Facial Pad- $2 Retail
    This cleansing pad is really cool- I've never seen these in the stores, but it has a soft terrycloth side for cleansing and a loofah side for exfoliating.  

    H2O+ Targeted Care Hand and Nail Cream 1 oz. Deluxe Sample $2.50 (Full Size 6oz. $15). 
    This hand cream is amazing!  I tried it as soon as I opened the box because my hands are always dry and chapped and this made my hands feel velvety soft and not greasy at all.  My skin just drank it up and they stayed soft even after washing.  I'll definitely get the full size of this once my sample is gone.

    Jane's Pick All Natural Handmade Bar Soap Sample ($8 for 5oz. bar).
    I can't wait to try this...it smells wonderful through the package.  I'm not sure what scent it is, since it doesn't list it on the package but I love all natural soaps and my husband does too (so he was super excited to see this believe it or not). 

    Tree Hut Shea Body Butter Coconut Lime 2oz. $2.14 (Full Size is $7.49 for 7oz.). 
    Ahh, Tree Hut!  I love their scrubs and I've been using their Hawaiian Kukui Body Wash in my shower this week, so this is a welcome addition.  I've never tried the Coconut Lime scent (and I'm not sure why since I'm a sucker for Coconut anything) but this smells amazing and I can't wait to use this after my shower tomorrow.  

    Bellapierre Makeup Base $18.99 for .29 oz (Full Size!)
    This was the spoiler I told you about a few weeks ago!  This is a concealer/eyeshadow primer.  I swatched it on my hand and it's the perfect color for me.  I'm excited to see how this conceals and also how it works as a base.  It feels really smooth when I apply it and doesn't seem to be drying or cakey which is a good thing!

    All together, this month's Beauty Box 5 had $25.63 worth of products, not counting the soap, since I don't know how many oz. it is and couldn't really calculate it's value.  The best part is that I'll use each and every one of these products which doesn't usually happen with subscription boxes.  There's always one or two things I won't use.  

    To subscribe to Beauty Box 5, Click Here

    Have you tried Beauty Box 5 and if so, what did you think of this month's box?  

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    I got my Ipsy Glam Bag over the weekend and while it wasn't bad, it wasn't one of my favorite bags. This month, I actually liked my Beauty Box 5 the best, then Birchbox, with Ipsy in third place.  Here's what I got...

    First is NYX Love in Rio Eyeshadow Palette, Full Size, $6.  I was happy with this product, since it's neutral brown shadows.  And I love NYX.

    Next is Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie lipstick in Get Ready .05oz. Sample Size $7.20 (Full Size.12oz $18) I wasn't happy with this color. It's bright rosy pink and I like neutral lip colors, mainly.  But this is a nice lipstick...I might pick one up in another shade.

    Next is Pixi Flawless Beauty Primer 12ml Mini $9 (full size $22). This primer is nice...it's a peachy color with some shimmer in it to brighten the skin and glow through your foundation.

    Last is Chella Eyeliner Pen in Indigo Blue Full Size, $24. I like that this is an eye marker with a fine tip but I'm not really into blue eyeliner, especially with blue eyes.  I might try it on vacation or something.

    Here are swatches of everything, left to right: Pixi Primer, NYX Eyeshadows, Chella liner and Bare Minerals lipstick.

    Overall, this $10 bag had $46.20 worth of product in it.  Usually there are 5 products in my Glam bag, but Ipsy's website says you'll get 4-5 so I guess I've just been lucky.  I saw that other people got Pacifica Coconut Body Butters in their bags, which I would have preferred, but oh well.  They can't all be winners. I still love Ipsy, since most of my bags have been awesome.
    How about you?  What did you get? 

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    Lately, Target has started to carry a lot more of the big names in hair care, from Toni & Guy to Shea Moisture. And now Target is adding another acclaimed brand to its beauty roster: Carol’s Daughter. Starting in March, guests will find Carol’s Daughter products in U.S. stores and at Target.com.
    Founded in Brooklyn in 1993, Carol’s Daughter is known for its high-quality, natural hair care products. Target will be the exclusive retailer to carry the Carol’s Daughter Sacred Tiare Collection, which is designed to stop breakage and smooth frizz at the same time. The collection features sulfate-free shampoo, fortifying conditioner, hair mask, leave-in conditioner, styling cream and smoothing serum.
    Target will also carry the Carol’s Daughter Black Vanilla Collection, which adds moisture and shine to dry, brittle hair, plus the Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Collection for curly hair.

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    Lately my crows feet have been getting pretty intense. I don't have the ones on the sides of my eyes- they're underneath. It seemed like they showed up overnight, and while it could be due to a serious lack of sleep since having a baby, it could just be my age catching up with me.  I am 36 after all! I've been using sample tubes of Strivectin AR Eye Cream which is like, $80-something a tube so you would think that it would have helped me but it didn't do one single thing- so disappointing!  I had pretty much resigned myself to the fact that if a super expensive eye cream wasn't helping me, nothing short of Botox or maybe a prescription retinoid would.  But a few weeks ago I was in Target and spotted this Olay Eye Lifting Serum.  I've been using their Night Resurfacing Elixir and really like it, plus this eye serum said that I would see results in 2 weeks.  Now I took that with a grain of salt, but I figured if for nothing else, it would be a good experiment! 

    This has Niacinamide and Peptides and is supposed to not only soften wrinkles, but brighten the eye area as well. The box claims some results in two weeks with more noticeable results by the end of the tube.

    This comes in a tube with a pointy tip and is easy to dispense the right amount of product.  I've been using this morning and night for the past 2.5 weeks to make sure I got the full benefit from it.

    This is a serum, which means that I still use eye cream afterwards (I've been using Olay's Total Effects CC Eye Cream- I figured I'd keep in in the family!).  This isn't as liquidy as some serums, more like a light lotion consistency. 

    Now the moment of truth...did it reduce my lines in 2 weeks? These photos are unretouched and I'm not wearing makeup or concealer. The only thing I did was put mascara on for the after pictures. I also smiled in every picture to make the wrinkles more prominent.  Ok, here we go!

    Left Eye Before: 

    Left Eye After:

    Right Eye Before:

                              Right Eye After:
    I am wowed by this serum! I thought my wrinkles had improved a little, but when I saw the pictures together I couldn't believe it! Not only are they a LOT less noticeable, but the darkness and pigmentation under my eyes is reduced and the whole area is brighter. 
    I really recommend when trying a new skincare product to take before and after photos. Sometimes you think something isn't working but the proof is in the pictures! I tend to really focus in on problem areas so I didn't realize what a difference this made because when I smiled I still saw wrinkles. 
    I can't wait to take pictures after a month and see what it looks like at that point! 
    Have you tried any Olay eye products, including this one? What did you think?

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