3 More Reasons To Love Urban Decay…their brushes!

First of all, why am I just now discovering that Urban Decay has amazing brushes? I feel like it’s a little known secret. Do people know how great these brushes are? I mean, my goodness…I feel like shouting it from the rooftops! But I’ll settle for shouting it on my blog instead. :cool: I got these for review and can’t stop rolling them over my face.

Urban Decay brushes

They are just so wooooonderful and soft and just…I mean, whoa! What’s to review? Why can’t I just say: “These are awesome. Buy them.”? And leave it at that?

Urban Decay Good Karma brushes in hand

I guess I COULD do that. But y’all would hate me for it, uh? Welp. Okay then…let’s do a quick review of each brush. And let’s start with that Good Karma Blush Brush.

Urban Decay Good Karma blush brush

Cost: $32 from Urban Decay.com.
Intended uses: To be used for applying blush, powders, bronzers and highlighters.
Is it effective?: Absolutely! What a wonderful brush to use daily. It feels incredibly soft and allows for great distribution right up under or on those cheekbones. And did I mention that she feels realllllly soft?

Good Karma Shading Brush

Urban Decay Good Karma shading brush

Cost: $26 at UrbanDecay.com.
Intended Uses: To assist with contouring and applying eyeshadow on the crease.
Is it effective?: This is the perfect brush to use for really blending out that crease. Even if you don’t have much of a crease or have to fake one. Ahem, like I do. I love that the brush is stiff enough to really GET in the crease but it’s soft enough to eyeshadow a nice airbrushed look.

Good Karma Shadow Brush

Urban Decay Good Karma Shadow brush

Cost: $26 at UrbanDecay.com
Intended Uses: To apply eyeshadow of course, silly!
Is it effective?: Yep! But I like this more for applying powder/loose eyeshadows. This brush dipped in whatever you use to make your loose shadows creamy and then applied to the lid is glorious. It’s a stiffer brush so I didn’t find it as useful when applying pan eyeshadows.

Reasons #493, #494 and #495 to love Urban Decay. That is all.

Have you tried any UD brushes?

China Glaze Hologlam collection

This is a massive nail polish collection. I typically put collections this large in 2 posts but nope, I’m going to go ahead and give you the whole enchilada, baby. I got these for a review awhile back and they were such a pleasure to apply. I’m a holo lover like the next nail polish lover and while these weren’t as blingy as I thought they would be, they were still nice and fun to use.

China Glaze Hologram

Here we goooo…

China Glaze Astro-Hot nail polish

Astro-Hot is a soft baby pink. Softer holographic nail polishes never really seem to do it for me but I surprisingly liked this one. And I loved that the pink still shows well even though it’s pretty…soft.

China Glaze Take A Trek nail polish

Take A Trek is a cool denim blue. Ugh, blue holographic polishes are the best and this one isn’t any exception. This one applied beautifully and really does look like denim.

China Glaze Galatic Gray nail polish

Galatic Gray is a stunning silver metal and I really didn’t expect for the holo bits to be as apparent in this one. But they definitely are!

China Glaze Not In This Galaxy nail polish

Not In This Galaxy is a bright warm coral and it’s the perfect holo for those who want to take baby steps into wearing holographic polishes. And she’s totally work appropriate too!

China Glaze OMG A UFO nail polish

OMG A UFO is a warm moss green. It’s everything I could ever want in a green holo. Well, a light green holo. I much prefer darker ones but this one isn’t too bad.

China Glaze Sci-Fly By nail polish

Sci-Fly By is a silver blue. This one didn’t look so holographic to me. Not too much of a loss because it is a gorgeous blue by itself.

China Glaze Get Outta My Space nail polish

Get Outta My Space is a powdered violet. She’s sweet and dainty.

China Glaze Strap On Your Moonboots nail polish

Strap On Your Moonboots is a midnight sky blue has a subtle holographic effect but it is still so gorgeous.

China Glaze When Stars Collide nail polish

When Stars Collide is a warm maroon. I didn’t think I’d like this one as much but it’s surprisingly interesting.

China Glaze Cosmic Dust nail polish

Cosmic Dust is a silver metal that has a nice amount of holographic shimmer but I’ve seen better silver holographics.

China Glaze Infa-Red nail polish

Infa-Red is my favorite of the bunch. This warm magenta pink has the most holographic shimmer. It is perfect!

China Glaze Don't Be A Luna-tic nail polish

Don’t Be a Luna-tic is a turquoise aqua. She isn’t as gorgeous as the other blues though.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $14/bottle – pricer b/c of the holographic particles.
Availability: At e-tailers and Sally Beauty Supply. Maybe Ulta? 
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: Galatic Gray, Strap On Your Moonboots, When Stars Collide,  Infa-Red
 
 

I didn’t expect to love this collection as much as I did. I mean, of course I knew I’d love them because they ARE holographic polishes but they really aren’t as holographic as I would have liked. Still… they are super easy to apply (after you make sure to shake the bottle a bit), wear for quite some time and look stunning on the nails. If you have polishes with more of a holographic shimmer these may not excite you too much. But if you are looking to spruce up your holographic nail polish collection, these may work. But are they as awesome at the OMG collection? Not really.

Are you a fan of holographic polishes. What do you think about these?

Simple Skincare is just so…simple. And awesome!

Yay!! New skincare products. Okay, not really new. Simple has been out for awhile but this is my first time trying them. I got a few of the products to review and after giving them about a month to work some magic, I am finally ready to review ‘em.

Simple Skincare products

First things first…you can grab these products and more at practically all drugstores and at places like Target and Walmart. This brand is SO up my alley because for one thing, it’s practically fragrance-free. Aaaanad, all of their products omit parabens, sulfates and phthalates. This hypoallergenic line has products for those of all skin types – normal,oily, dry and combination. The line carries everything from cleaners, moisturizers (with and without SPF), facial scrubs, toners make-up removers and eye creams. I’m going to do mini reviews of the products that I used…

Foaming Facial Cleanser ($6.99)

Simple Skincare Foaming Facial Cleanser

Simple Foaming Facial Cleanser in hand

This cleanser promises to not only refresh and moisturize the skin, but it also promises to get rid of remaining traces of make-up. It has such a nice fresh scent and I think that’s due to the chamomile. The glycerin in it helps with hydration and I love how my skin didn’t feel streaky clean when I used it. It does a darn good job at thoroughly cleansing the skin and yep, I felt like it removed my excess traces of makeup. The price point is a great too and I love that even though it’s a foam, it will last well over a month. Maybe even two months.

Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF ($11.99)

Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer

Simple Protecting Light Moisturizer with SPF 15

It’s been forever since I’ve tried a new moisturizer. I looooove this one. It’s just so…simple. No frills, no outrageous promises, it’s just a lightweight facial moisturizer. It’s perfect for this hot and humid areas and I appreciate not smelling the SPF that’s dumped in it. It isn’t greasy and is a great follow-u to the facial cleanser.

Radiance Cleansing Facial Wipes ($5.49 for 25 wipes)

Simple Radiance Cleansing wipes

Simple Radiance Cleansing wipes in hand

Too lazy to splash some water on your face each night? Um yeah…me too. Which is why I LOVE facial wipes. They aren’t exactly eco-friendly but they work beautifully in a pinch. I currently have these stashed in my travel bag because I’m finding it great for cleaning my face and neck while on the go. I think these are best suited for those with extremely dry skin because they left a bit of a film behind. It wasn’t unpleasant but it may drive those with oiler skin crazy. I didn’t try ‘em long enough to see if they brightened and evened my skin tone but with those claims, if I wasn’t a beauty blogger, I would definitely be into using this long term.

 Oil Balancing Cleansing Facial Wipes ($5.49 for 30 wipes)

Simple Oil Balancing Cleansing wipes

Similar to the Radiance wipes, these can be used in place of a traditional cleanser. It has promises to refresh skin and help control shine. It feels just as good as the Radiance wipes but I’d rather use those because of their promises to help even skin tone. Both wipes are alcohol-free. Yesssss!

Eye Make-Up Remover Pads ($5.49 for 30 wipes)

Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads

Simple Eye Makeup Remover Pads in hand

This are cute, uh? They promise to remove waterproof mascara but nope, my waterproof mascara was holding on tightly and wasn’t easily removed by the pad. *le sigh* I’d rather stick with my regular eye makeup remover and use the facial wipes for all over cleanup.

OVERALL: I’m a huge fan of this brand. There is a definite need for a line like this on the drugstore level. I have only worn preservative-free skincare products for years (due to my sensitive skin) so I am loving me some Simple.

Have you tried any of their products?

Mascara Monday: Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan mascara

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara

I am so in love with Josie Maran’s cosmetics. She rules. In fact, she rules so much I can’t even watch QVC because if she’s on I WILL buy something. There is no “if” about it. So yeah. I run far away from the TV if I know that she’s going to be on. I’ve finally gotten around to trying out her mascara. I got this one for review so let’s see if it was as good as everything else she’s got…

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara tube

Price: $22 from Sephora and Sephora.com.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 4 out of 5

What It Claims: “This mascara’s patented Triple V Brush delivery system coats lashes one luxurious layer at a time for full, long-wearing, clump-free, water-resistant definition. The rich, hydrating formula evenly builds thickness and smoothness, delivering a full fringe of blacker-than-black lashes with dewy shine. This natural and exclusive formula dries quickly without smearing, smudging, clumping, or flaking. An infusion of nourishing, protein-rich Argan Oil conditions and supports hair growth for lush, supple, healthy lashes.” (source)

The Truth: I liked it! I really liked it!

What I Loved About It: I got a nice amount of volume.

What I Didn’t Like: It was just a bit flaky. Pretty common for natural mascaras though.

Overall: I truly stan for Josie Maran products. And I’ve been doing so since I tried my first oil from her. It’s a stellar brand. Especially for my fellow natural lovin’ guys and girls out there. Natural mascaras are tough to love, though. Sure they omit the nasties but they aren’t so hot on the longevity tip. And let’s face it, I don’t care what your mascara preferences are, you definitely want it to last on the eyes for as long as possible. Natural mascaras aren’t so good in that department.

But first things first, the wand…

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara brush

It’s a typical wand that is great for volumizing. It is large and plush and may be a bit intimidating to those who aren’t so used to larger wands. There wasn’t much of a stopper in the tube so when I pulled out the wand each time I endured a ton of mascara on the wand.

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara brush and tube

Yes, I hate when this happens. It isn’t much to remove it but it’s still an extra step that I don’t always like to take. However, this mascara is kinda worth the trouble. I really like the volumizing action I got from this baby. Using only 2 coats I got a really nice set of lashes. With very little effort. My lashes were lush, dark and fabulous, darling. The downfall of course is the flakiness I ended up getting hours after application. And by hours I mean, only a good 4-5 hours of wear. This isn’t the kind of mascara you can rock through out the night. Nope, she just won’t last on you. And it’s sad because it really is a great mascara. Like I mentioned, it’s a common issue with natural mascaras. But regardless, I love the effect that this mascara gave me. It’s definitely a mascara I’d hold on to for short term dramatic wear.

 

Bare Lashes



DSC_2773

 

Lashes after 2 coats

 

Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume Argan Mascara on eyes

Do I recommend it?: Sure! Especially if you’re a Josie Maran fan who doesn’t need a mascara to last hours at a time.

 

Where are my JM guys and girls at? Have you tried this mascara? Am I the only one that notices that natural mascaras don’t last as long throughout the day?

A Message On Mother’s Day 2013

Mom and daughter

People think that Mother’s Day is a day just for women who are are Mothers in the traditional sense of the word. I’ve never felt that way. I’ve grown up in a culture that truly believes in the “It takes a village” philosophy. Mamas can’t be everywhere all the time so that’s when other mama-figures step in. Who said you have to physically give birth to a child to help mother them? No. Motherhood is far more than conception and birth. Motherhood is being that safe place, having that nurturing spirit, the tear and boo boo wiper, the comic relief, the support system, the stickler, the teacher and the friend when needed. Motherhood is truly a verb.

It’a commercial holiday, yes, but this is one that I’ve always felt was okay. Why shouldn’t we shower our Mothers with love and affection? Shouldn’t we do so everyday? Absolutely. But we don’t. So if it takes one day to truly pamper, love on Moms and let them know how invaluable they are, well then…I’m all for it.

Mother’s Day is also a day for mourning. Some mourn the loss of their mothers, either in the physical sense or because a relationship wasn’t or isn’t in place. Some mourn the loss of their children on Mother’s Day. Or they feel inadequate because they aren’t Mothers in the traditional sense. Take solace in knowing that motherhood does not determine womanhood or a woman’s value. And if a mother touched our lives for even a short second or a short lifetime, she should be celebrated, even if she has gone on to glory.

So yes, I have always celebrated Mother’s Day by gifting my mothers and friends who are mothers with cards and treats. Being a mother is hard. The constant worrying, the wondering if you’re doing everything right, the sleepless nights, the critics who question your parenting choices but ooooh, motherhood is also a blessing. One of the biggest one’s in my life.

Baby Clumps

I thank God everyday for Elle. Yes, Alex and I did the work to bring her in this world (too much info? Ha!) but I truly believe she chose me. I could have never crafted such an amazing being on my own. I’ve babysat and been a nanny to dozens of children so I’ve always had an adoration for children but it skyrocketed when I gave birth to Elle in that small room at the birthing center 4 months ago. Elle is special. I’m sure all parents say that about their children but there is truly something dynamic about this 4-month old who has mastered smiling and stealing hearts. She has been a joy to our family during some tough times. She has given me more purpose and more of a reason to work hard each day. On my first Mother’s Day, I thank my daughter Elle. I thank her for choosing me.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms. To all mothers, grandmothers, godmothers, mother-in-laws, stepmothers, older sisters, aunts, friends, teachers, caretakers and pet mommies.  Bless you all!

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 88

Le Metier de Beaute Hydrating Mask Duo up close

Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Lipglossiping – isn’t entirely convinced by Clinique’s latest foray into the world of nail polish. Click through for the full story!

My Beauty Bunny – You may be up to your ears in beauty products, but what about your furry best friend? We’ve got a look at Pet Head, an edgy fashion-forward line of pet products.

Nouveau Cheap – What do you do when your favorite drugstore eyebrow pencil keeps getting harder and harder to find? If you’re me, you find a wonderful (and affordable) Japanese beauty product to take its place!

Pink Sith – tells you about the time she was arrested by the Fashion Police, but got released on her own recognizance thanks to her Stars Makeup Haven lip gloss in Jezebel.

Prime Beauty – gets the perfect bronze goddess look with the new Buxom Hot Escapes Bronzers--they even smell like the beach!

Phyrra – shares expert tips on How to Care for Natural Locks Hair!

Vampy Varnish – May is skin cancer awareness month so here is some info about prevention, risks, being pale and her favorite sunscreens!

we heart this – MAC Temperature Rising Nail Lacquers are a gorgeous glitter explosion on their own (Scorching Haute and Tropical) but wait until you see them mixed…

Beauty Junkies Unite – If you like lipsticks with insane color payoff, that still feel great on your lips—don’t pass up these new lippies from BUXOM, the Full Bodied Lipsticks!

Clumps of Mascara – is in love with these new Clinique nail polishes. They totally knocked them out of the park!

EauMG – reviews a new French perfume that should inspire a spicy limoncello cocktail, Olfactive Studio Still Life.

Gouldylox ReviewsNatalie Maines may not be a style maven, but her latest look requires chutzpah. Like it or lump it?

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Lipglossiping – The lovely Meg from Lips So Facto shares her top tips on how to DIY your own relaxing bath soak, a must-read for stressed-out sisters everywhere!

Question of the Week:

When it comes to grooming the brows, what’s your preference? Wax, tweeze or thread?

B says, “I’m a threading gal. And threading huuuuurts but I love how my brows look after doing it. I then thread ‘em to maintain the look for a few weeks.”

How ’bout you? Wax, tweeze or thread?

 

 

Want white teeth? Of course you do!

It’s confession time. Are you ready for this one? Okay. Here goes. I haven’t been to the dentist in over a year. I’ve always been a stickler about dental health so my not going is like…a big deal. The good news is, I’ve already set an appointment with my dentist. I know I’ve got a cavity or two so I’m already prepared to hear the tongue lashing. I got this tube of Colgate Optic White Dual Action toothpaste to review and while my dentist may chew me out over my cavities, she’ll be super impressed with my pearly whites.

Colgate Optic White Dual Action toothpaste

It’s been awhile since I’ve tried out a new toothpaste so I was excited about this one. Like the original Colgate Optic White, this toothpaste promises to make your whiter in just 1 week. But not only that, it also promises to keep those teeth shiny. Shiny white teeth? Sign me up!

Colgate Optic White Dual Action toothpaste tube

I probably won’t ever do professional dental whitening or bleaching (just doesn’t seem safe somehow…) so whitening toothpastes are the closest I will get to super white and bright teeth. Colgate’s Optic White is one of my favorite on the market because I feel like it keeps my teeth white and freshens my breath. I’ve tried some of those toothpastes that claim they’ll brighten and freshen but they are usually lacking in one of the departments. And I really like the Crystal Mint flavor of this toothpaste. It’s refreshing and long-lasting. Ah yessss. Toothpaste rocks.

And like most toothpastes, you can get a tube of this at your local drugstore or at Target or Walmart. If your beautiful smile is in need of some brightenin’, I say give this stuff a try.

Do you whiten your teeth?

Dial’s Skin Therapy Body Washes – They Smell Gooood!

DSC_8214-001

Times are getting a lot better in my household because I’m actually getting the chance to bathe. Yes, judge me all you want but fellow parents know what I’m talkin’ about. Especially nursing (ahem, or pumping) mamas. Baths are limited when you’ve got a baby. And I hear it’s even worse with toddlers. I’m afraid, y’all. Very afraid. I got these for review and the other day I took a shower using them…

DSC_8213-001

Um, wow. Coconut water is beyond popular these days. Personally, I find that it tastes like sweat but coconut water in a body wash ain’t too shabby. Especially when the fragrance is nice, subtle and clean. Ahhh yes. How I miss the days of smelling clean and not like baby barf.

DSC_8217

DSC_8218

This body wash reminds me of something that I’d wear if I was on a cruise or somethin’. There’s something about cruising that makes you want to smell like the ocean and palm trees. Whatever palm trees smell like. Dial also has the Skin Therapy Body Wash with Himalayan Salt.

DSC_8216

DSC_8219

This one is a little more floral than I’d like but it’s not overwhelming. Both body washes seem perfect for my dry skin. They’ve got hydrating properties and their scents are definitely Spring and Summer friendly. Way to go, Dial! This brand has come a long way from their golden hand soaps. Remember those? They were total staples in my elementary school classes.

And yes, I can remember things like that. :cool:

Price: Around $4.99 for a 16 oz bottle.
Availability: Currently available at grocery, drug and mass retailers nationwide.
Is it worth the money?: Yah! I mean, it’s less than $5 and it’s a nice and hydrating body wash. If you’re in need of something new for the shower/bath, I think you’ll like these.

Soooo, does anyone else think that coconut water taste like sweat?