Review of the Tis The Season’ GLOSSYBOX

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Yep! I’ve got another inside scoop of the GLOSSYBOX. It’s been awhile since I’ve reviewed one but with the holidays rollin’ around, I figured it would be a good idea to remind you about one of the most popular beauty subscription boxes. These boxes are hit or miss (depending on your preferences, of course) but the average beauty lover will likely get giddy over receiving a subscription as a gift. You wouldn’t hear me complaining.

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Plus, GLOSSYBOX is one of the more higher-end boxes so if I were to gift a subscription to a friend, it would be this one. GLOSSYBOXes are always decked out beautifully and the GLOSSYBOX Mag provides pretty pics of trends and products.

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Sooo, let’s see what we’re working with this month:

Illamasqua Lip & Eye Medium Pencil

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The full size version of this pencil retails for $20 and with Illamasqua being a higher-end brand and all, we’ve already gotten our money’s worth with this pencil. Score! I’ve always been really impressed with Illa’s products and this pencil is no different. The color is called Honour and it’s a rich and chocolate-y brown. It’s definitely a product that I would use regularly.

Incoco Nail Polish Applique

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Shout out to nail strips and stickers. These are so popular these days so it’s good to see GLOSSYBOX staying on trend. I’ve actually used these strips before and they are one of the better ones because they are made of actual nail polish. They retail for $8 and the 16 double-ended strips can make for a nice holiday nail look. Especially in this shade. Sinderella is a rich burgundy and it’s nothing fancy but it’s rolling with the season.

Kryolan for GLOSSYBOX

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The brand Kryolan is likely more known among beauty professionals instead of everyday consumers. I’ve actually never tried any of their products but this blush in Glossy Rosewood looks like it can do some good. It seems pretty pigmented and it doubles as an eyeshadow.  Regular price of this is $9.

Nume Style Arganics by NuMe Argan Oil (full size: $59/4 oz – sample size is 10 ml)

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I’m just now getting back on the argan oil train and I can’t brag about it enough. Nume’s version of this contains Vitamin E and can be used on the body and hair. Most argan oils are scent-free and this one is heavily perfume-y and unappealing to me. I spot Fragrance in the Ingredients so boo to that. Otherwise, it’s a nice and non-greasy oil. Argan oil rules!

Skin & CO ROMA Truffle Serum: Hydro-Toning Day Face Serum

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This serum is supposed to help slow down the signs of aging. It has hyaluronic acid and I’m not sure if it’s pregnancy safe so I didn’t give it a whirl. However, it is fragrance-free and I think the 0.50 oz size is enough to give you users a good 3-5 uses.

Overall: Of course, you know reviewing beauty subscription boxes are tricky because everyone goes giddy over different things. You’ll never see me appreciate getting hair products whereas some love getting hair samples. I like to judge these boxes by their overall value and this month seemed to hit the mark. The samples were large enough for users to get a good amount and there’s a little something for everyone. Hate nail products? No problem…there are 2 samples of cosmetic products. Not a fan of skincare products but like nails? Bam. You got a sample. So yeah, not a bad way to end the year, GLOSSYBOX.

Consider gifting your favorite beauty guy or girl with a GLOSSYBOX subscription. Start here!

Makeup Wars: My Holiday Wish List

I’m back with another Makeup Wars post and this time I am showcasing some of the items on my holiday wish list. Truthfully, I seriously don’t want for much when it comes to beauty. And I know that sounds crazy as a beauty blogger, but I am satisfied beyond satisfied.

Okay, I’m lying. There is always something that I’m lusting after. Haaaa!!!

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Yves Saint Laurent MASCARA VOLUME EFFET FAUX CILS SHOCKING – Voluminous Mascara ($30) – YSL always has the longest product names everrrrrr. Anyway, I adore their mascaras but I hardly splurge on them because of the price. This one has been calling my name for quite some time and mannnnn, it’s time for me to answer.

Clarisonic Aria ($199) – Yeah, I know. I don’t need it. I really don’t. My Clarisonic Plus works just fine but there’s something so captivating about the beautiful Aria. She’s all shiny and would look like a piece of jewelry in my bathroom. And what’s that? I can recharge her via USB? Um…yeah!!

Koh Gen Do Cleansing Spa Water ($39) – I have fallen in love with this makeup remover and I am slowlyyyy running out of it. *tears* It’s pricey but this stuff is great. I haven’t been this excited about a makeup remover since Lancome’s Bi-Facil. And yeah, this stuff is better than that.

butter LONDON Fairy Cake nail lacquer ($14) – I’ve got like 2 dozen butter LONDON polishes but my collection won’t be complete until I get this baby. It’s a silvery holographic piece of awesomeness.

Earth Mama Angel Baby Birth & Baby Kit ($85) – Since I’m covered in the skincare department, I would adore this kit for Baby Clumps. See, aren’t I on the road to learning how not to be selfish? :cool: There are only a select few store-bought products that I plan to slather her in and this brand is one of them. And yep…a lot of the products in the kit can work for me too so hey, Baby Clumps and I both win!

And on the non-beauty side, I’d love complete payment of my student loans and an iPad Mini. But who wouldn’t, right? Haaaa!!!

What’s on your beauty wishlist? While you’re thinking about it, check out what my fellow beauty girls are lusting after…



Mascara Monday: Lancome Hypnôse Star mascara

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I’m usually up on my Lancome mascara reveiwin’ game but man, it took me forever to scoop this one up. I read other reviews that weren’t so glowing and I think that kept me from reviewing this kid for so long. And as a blogger, that’s no bueno. I’m “supposed” to remain neutral until I’ve reviewed a product. Or somethin’ like that. :cool: Anywho, here we are with my very delayed review of Hypnôse Star.

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Price: $28 at Sephora, Sephora.com and Lancome counters.
Packaging (brush wand): 5 out of 5
Overall: 3 out of 5

What It Claims: “This mascara dresses lashes in intense volume, unfolding a new vision of glamour inspired by Betty Boop and top model Daria Werbowy. The formula’s “black-diamond effect” imparts a glossy gel-like finish. The dual-action brush has a flat side for optimizing product deposit at the lash line while the rounded side separates, defines, and lengthens.” (source)

The Truth: I love everything about the tube of this mascara. All mascara tubes should have glitter thrown on them.

What I Loved About It: The wand is some kind of awesome.

What I Didn’t Like: It didn’t provide enough volume.

Overall: This mascara was inspired by the legendary Betty Boop and if anyone knows beauty and glamour, it’s that chick. I’ll tell you one thing, the wand on this baby is just amazeballs.

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I mean, seriously…do you see that? It’s the perfect wand for separating, lengthening and volumizing. It’s also great for getting those inner lashes and lower lashes. It’s just an all around great wand. Other mascara brands should learn from Lancome because their wands are usually always perfection. I love those stiff bristles. So yeah, even if the mascara itself was lacking tremendously, the wand is just great.

Formula-wise, I’m not sure what Lancome means about this “black-diamond effect” but I didn’t notice much of a glossy gel-like finish. And I know a glossy mascara when I see one. The formula is much like traditional mascara formulas except it feels extremely lightweight. Not in a bad way ,but it’s something to notice. The formula does well on the lashes but as with most Lancome mascaras, I was expecting serious drama and volume and I just didn’t get it from this one. But what I did good was decent.

The separating and lengthening power of this mascara is dynamite and if that’s what you’re looking for when it comes to a mascara, you’ll love this one. It’s also a great buildable mascara so even after 3 coats, if you wanted to continue to push it to the limit, you can do so with minimal clumping.  On the down side, I experienced quite a bit of flaking with this baby. Even after a few hours, I would notice bits of mascara flakies under my eyes. No me gusta. So yeah, it’s not my favorite Lancome mascara buuuuut it’s not terrible.

 

Bare Lashes



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Lashes after 3 coats


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Do I recommend it?: Sure. Especially if you love a mascara that lengthens and separates. If you’re looking for extreme volume, you may not find it with this Lancome mascara.

Not a total bust but I’ve seen better from Lancome. Whatcha think? Have you tried this mascara?


The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 70

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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!

Nouveau Cheap – has a lot to say about the new Liquid Metal eyeliners from Physicians Formula. Are they for you? Come see!

Pink Sith – has a SASSY review of mark. Very Sassy Eau de Parfum! Plus she is giving away three fragrance pencils to one lucky winner. Enter today!

Prime Beauty – is in a giving mood this holiday season. Enter to win her first prize, the Limited Edition bareMinerals The Star Treatment Eyeshadow Palette in the Prime Beauty Holiday Gifting Extravaganza!

Phyrra – says you must see the Winter Prism eve eyeshadows from the Silk Naturals Holiday 2012 Collection!

we heart this – swoons over the most swoon-worthy holiday gift they’ve seen to date; the MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultimate Eye Liner Collection.

Beauty Junkies Unite – Pantone just announced the 2013 color of the year—emerald! Check out some of my emerald beauty picks to start the trend early.

Clumps of Mascara – is attempting to help keep you ash free this winter by giving away some delightful Eucerin moisturizers. 5 lucky folx will win!

EauMG – Oxblood, leather, peplum, winter white…Victoria is pairing Fall/Winter 2012 fashion trends with perfume!

Gouldylox Reviews – Tired of the holiday glitter, but want a bright, beautiful look? Check out this FOTD from Three Custom Color and Le Metier de Beaute.

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Nouveau Cheap – I’ve been stalking Honor’s blog for a few months now and I can’t get enough. Home Heart Craft is chock full of thrifty but adorable DIY projects for the home, as well as “get the look” DIY fashion projects that you can do in minutes and require no heavy machinery (yay!). My favorite: these DIY adorable headbands that will have you eyeing every cute ribbon you see this holiday season in a whole different light.

Question of the Week:

Share with us some ideas for fun stocking-stuffers to
give to fellow beauty-obsessed friends or family this holiday season.

 

B says, “Sephora has a ton of super cheap and affordable beauty gifts. I’m talkin’ items less than $30. Also, don’t knock the value of a gift card. $10-$15 at a drugstore would make an awesome gift for any beauty lover. They can get what they want and you don’t have to wreck your brain trying to decide what they’d like.”

What are you? Are you big into giving stocking stuffers? Or not so much?

 

See you next week!

 

5 Sephora Stocking Stuffers Under $30

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I feel like a loser for having not tried very many items from Sephora’s brand. And it’s crazy because a great deal of their products are REALLY awesome. If you’ve got some beauty gals in your life and you’re stumped on what to get them, I’ve got 5 suggestions for you. And the good news…they’re all under $30. Woot! Let’s go…

 

Sephora Collection 3D Palette ($24-sold in stores)

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It’s been a while since I’ve dabbled in Sephora’s eyeshadows but these are glorious. Especially that purple eyeshadow!

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It’s the perfect buy for both beauty newbies and professionals alike. The double-ended brush is a nice little edition.

 

Flashy Eyeliner set ($16)

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These eyeliners are nice and totable. But wait…they are waterproof too! Because of the shimmer, they may not last too long on the waterline but as eyeshadow bases and liners on the lower lashline, they are awesome! These remind me a lot like Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever’s pencils.

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They’re pretty awesome and high-quality. Definitely an ideal stocking stuffer.

 

Sephora Gloss Lab ($25)

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Ohmimgooodness, these are glooooorious. Especially for a lipgloss junkie. This set comes with 10 different glosses of various shades and finishes. They’re full-sized too!

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This is such an adorable set for the teenage beauty lover in your life because these aren’t super pigmented. They are all incredibly glossy and even the brightest shade isn’t so bright on the lips.

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Gilded Trio Brush set ($10 – available in stores)

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Even though I have plenty of makeup brushes, I couldn’t help but go gaga over these. Do you see that gold! Do you?!

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These are just insane. 3 brushes at $10 isn’t too bad of a price, especially with the packaging being absolutely beautiful. The set includes a small powder brush, shadow brush and liner brush so it’s the perfect gift for the beauty beginner in your life.

 

24 Karat Gold Tweezers ($16)

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And since we’re talking about pretty gold accessories, how about these tweezers? I actually own a regular pair of these and they are pretty precise.

Now. Let’s review…

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5 beauty goodies under $30 for the beauty guys and girls in your life. Time to get to shoppin’!!

Baby Clumps: 32 Weeks + Leave Kate Middleton alone!

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I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve done an update. The goal was to update weekly but yeah, that’s impossible  because guess who has returned? FATIGUE!!

Girl yes. It is back and it doesn’t give a darn what plans I have or how long my to do list is either. Fatigue is a thug. At 32 weeks pregnant I can honestly say that well, I FEEL pregnant. I am moving slower, my heart races more and I’m just…sluggish. Here’s what Bean is up to,

“Thanks to their recently matured lungs and a strengthening immune system, over 90% of babies born in their 32nd week survive! So – go ahead and throw a mini-party right now because it’s pretty much a done deal – you’ve got a human-bean that’s going to make it! That’s not to say you actually want your wee womb-squatter to pack their bags and move out now, because they’d still end up in the ICU for a good while, rather than in your arms at home. Babies are best when fully baked!” (source)

She’s becoming such a big girl! I can tell because I can now see my belly shake when she hiccups. And her kicks…OMG, her kicks are so intense and jolting. And when I rub my side and tell her to calm down, she kicks me back. I love this kid.

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Health-wise, I’ll admit it – I’ve been sucking with fresh fruits and veggies. I’m not a junk food eater either but I certainly order what I want when I go out to eat. I eat french fries and carbs. Truthfully, if could be worse but I could be doing better too. I’ll be incorporating green smoothies in my diet again next week.

Oh! And in bad news, my blood pressure is going up a bit. It has been consistent and low throughout my entire pregnancy but my last checkup revealed that it was high. Not good at all. High blood pressure at this point could rule me out of birthing at a birth center or maybe even a natural childbirth. The thought of this made me anxious and terrified and shot my BP through the roof even more. I am working on staying more calm. Walking slower, taking alfalfa, eating better food and just not being so anxious all the time. Easier said than done but please cross your fingers for me, y’all. I don’t have to have the “perfect” labor and delivery but I’ll be in a bit of a depressive funk if I have to go to the hospital. Just bein’ honest…

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And in random celebrity news – The Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middelton is expecting and it was reported that she was hospitalized for morning sickness. Soooo many people got on her case about because, you know…WHO gets hospitalized for morning sickness? I mean, it’s just nausea, right? She’s clearly being a royal brat, isn’t she?

Whatever.

I sympathize with you, dear Kate. Granted I wasn’t hospitalized for my morning sickness but do I understand what it’s like to be nauseous and barf over smells EVERYDAY for months? Absolutely. Do I know what’s it like to lose close to 15 lbs because I can’t keep anything down? Yep. People who have never been there don’t get it. Morning sickness doesn’t just affect pregnant women. I’ve also heard that those with chronic conditions or those on serious medications can suffer debilitating morning sickness too. It’s the pits, y’all and it bugged me to see people giving Kate so much heat for something she had no control over. It’s a tough thing to deal with and I so want to send the Duchess a bouquet of flowers and some beauty goodies because I know her pain.

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Baby Stats:

Last Baby Thing Purchased: I still haven’t purchased anything other than a onesie. Thanks to family and friends, Bean officially has EVERYTHING she needs.

Milestones: We chose an amazing pediatrician, Esposo went to Daddy Boot Camp and we’re planning maternity photos.

Total Weight Gain: 7 lbs…

Annoying symptoms: Mild morning sickness, inability to get comfortable, back pain, breathlessness, random heartburn.

Things To Do: Organize the beauty room/nursery, finalize maternity leave dates, get a prenatal massage and pedicure, hang out with as many gal pals as I can and learn how to relax.

Tis all!

Oh snap..it’s the Urban Decay Naked Basics palette!

Many things make me happy. Paydays, surprise visits from friends, sales, Esposo’s good cookin’, glitter…you know things like that. But honey, nothing really gets me all giddy more than a new Urban Decay palette. I mean, honestly… No one makes a bangin’ eyeshadow palette like UD. Nobody. The Vice and Smoked palettes are still sleeping next to me. They’re going to have to scoot over because there’s a new palette in town.

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POW! Do you see that? If you’re hip to beauty news, you have likely already heard about this one. It launched about a week and a half ago and it had us beauty guys and gals in quite the frenzy. Some of us were all like “WTF…who needs another Naked palette?”

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And then there were others who were like, “Crap. I’ve already got both Naked palettes but I must.get.this.one.” And then there’s me. I was just drooling over the images of it online because that’s what I do. Drool over beauty products. Don’t be judgin’ me. Say hiya to the Naked Basics palette.

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She fine, ain’t she? I will not compare her to the other palettes. We will just talk about her awesome features. Fair enough, right?

These shadows are ALL mattes. I freaking loooooove matte eyeshadows. I mean, adore. I got several emails from my brown girls questioning if these mattes were rich enough to pop up on darker skin, and yep…they are!

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Venus is considered a demi-matte. It has very subtle shimmer but still applies just as well as the other shadows. It’s not exactly a white shadow. It leans more on the pearl side to me.

Foxy is a beige/faint almond shade. It is probably the least pigmented of the bunch.

Walk Of Shame is a pale pink. The 3 of these, I’m thinking will best work under the browbone. It seemed to have more chalkiness than any of the other colors.

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Naked2 is taupe. It’s super pigmented so this is the shade that I would likely use on my lid every time I use this palette.

Faint is a rich milk chocolate and it works beautifully in the crease. It is super super pigmented.

Crave is a matte black. And what’s not to love about those?

The last 3 eyeshadows seem to be more pigmented but I’m okay with that as I would only use Venus, Foxy and S.O.S. under my browbone anyway. I prefer not to have super pigmented colors under the brow. A quick look I cranked out… The looks was far more vibrant in person but also note that I had gotten 9-10 hours out of wear time before I snapped this photo.

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OVERALL: Considering I don’t own any of the Naked palettes (I know…how lame), I am really loving this one. This price point is significantly less as it only costs $27. It’s the perfect little palette for quick trips. I love that it doesn’t take up much space yet I’ve got 6 great shades that I can easily work with to crank out a decent work-appropriate look. Would I be THIS excited over this palette if I already owned the first 2 Naked palettes? Yes. Because this palette still contains 6 mattes and I find matte shadows the easiest to work with when I have very little time.

How much and where to get it?: This palette is $27 (original Naked and Naked 2 palettes are $50) and it is currently available at Sephora, ULTA, select Macy’s stores and UrbanDecay.com.

Whatcha think? Are you impressed with Naked Basics? 

Amor de Lacquer: China Glaze Holiday Joy collection, part I

Dang. How is it already the holiday season? Yes. My mind is indeed blown. I’m not complaining though. I am a huge lover of Christmas-EVERYTHING. And I know that’s not everyone’s shtick but I am will totally be that old lady that wears knitted Christmas sweaters. Without shame. Yep. What better way to ring in the season than with some pretty polishes? China Glaze is giving us a ton of beautiful options to bedazzle those nails. Here’s part I of the Holiday Joy collection.

China Glaze Holiday Joy 1

Excited yet?

Pure Joy

Pure Joy is a fiery red glitter with gold particles and it fooled me at first glance because I totally thought that it was a holographic. But nope, it’s a pretty and shimmery nail polish. I applied 3 coats here so it will wear well by itself but it’s also thin enough to be a layering polish.

Winter Holly

Winter Holly is a gold-flecked dazzling green glitter and it is goooorgeous. I can’t wait to create some looks with this baby. It has a similar finish to Pure Joy and while subtle, the gold holographic shimmer does a great job at coming through the green. I also spy some purple shimmer in this polish as well.

Red Satin

Red Satin is nothing fancy as it is just a silky blue-based red creme. Most brands always toss in a red nail polish in their holiday collections and this one is no different from all of the others.

Blue Bells Ring

Blue Bells Ring is an icy blue shimmer and I love everything about how this polish looks on my nails. It does have some drawbacks though. For one, it stains the nails so a sturdy base coat is a definite when rocking this baby. Also, for whatever reason this polish “smelled” differently than all of the others. As in worse. I’m not sure if the formula is different but it reminded me a lot of how polishes smelled before they were Big 3 Free. I actually had to tie a scarf around my nose to apply this polish. Still though. It’s such a beaut. I don’t think I’ll be wearing it often though because I tend to stay away from polishes that stain my nails. Getting them back to normal just isn’t worth the trouble for me.

Merry Berry

Merry Berry is a luscious rich berry red creme. It isn’t the most exotic polish I’ve seen from China Glaze but it has a great fit in this collection.

Angel Wings

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Angel Wings also fooled me because I so thought this baby was a holographic just from looking at its bottle. China Glaze describes this as a delicate gold dust glitter and it’s a beautiful golden crusted nail polish. The microglitter makes for easier removal and while it goes opaque with 3 coats, it does well with layering with 1 coat.

This collection is currently in stores like Sally Beauty Supply and online at e-tailers like TransDesign.com. Stay tuned for part II of this collection! See any that you like so far?