The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 63

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!

Vampy Varnish – Loves the new nail lacquers in the Zoya Winter/Holiday collection!

we heart this – takes a swatch-happy look, and embraces, their latest Vice (via enablers Urban Decay).

Beauty Junkies Unite – The name is Bond…James Bond! See the review and swatches of the new OPI Skyfall Collection for holiday 2012, inspired by 007 himself.

EauMG – Food & Fragrance: Victoria visited The Northwest Chocolate Festival. Here’s her “perfume pairings” for her favorite chocolates at the show.

Lipglossiping – gets spicy with Clinique’s new Chubby Stick Intense in Chunkiest Chili. It’s certainly chunky, but is it as pigmented as they promise?

Gouldylox Reviews – Best laid plans lead to odd adventures. Once again, nothing goes as planned, but at least my hair looked good. Want gorgeous movement and body for yourself, here is the trick I learned at Dry Bar!

Nouveau Cheap – Attention lip balm lovers: here’s an exclusive sneak peek at the Limited Edition Holiday 2012 flavors from Softlips. (Spoiler: yum!)

Pink Sith – Is giving away a WEI to Go Sleep Over Kit in Light. Enter for your chance to win!

Prime Beauty – her never ending quest for BIG hair may have come to an end with her latest Splurge vs. Steal Hair Powder Edition.

PhyrraFyrinnae Samhain 2012 is here and Phyrra has swatches, video, looks and a review!

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Vampy Varnish – Jeanette from The Swatchaholic does her first ever Galaxy Water Marble look and it’s incredible!

Question of the Week:

What product makes you happy each time you use it?

 

B says, “It sounds simple but lip balm. I’m serious! Every time I slather on some, I smile as if someone passed me a bag of Skittles. I looooove soft and moisturized lips. Oh! And nail polish too because I think my nails look like gems after a fresh coat of lacquer.”

What about you? What product or products make you go gaga?

 

See you next week!

 

Baby Clumps: 24 Weeks

This is going to be a super quick post because to be honest, I don’t have any MAJOR updates. I’m actually working on a post about being Pregnant and Overweight but it’s going to take a few more days for me to crank that out. It’ll probably be one of those TMI posts that I love writing but hey…I promised to share a great deal of my pregnancy with y’all and being a larger girl AND pregnant comes with its issues, ya dig?

Anywho – this week Bean has officially reached a level of viability. In a few words, it means that if Bean were born today, she would stand a chance of surviving. Of course, I want her to bake for the remainder of 2nd AND 3rd trimester but it’s just another milestone that I can’t help but be happy about.

If you’re bored enough and want to get the skinny on the hell that was 1st trimester, check out my Baby Bean Bean blog. That blog puts it allllll out there. If you’re super squeamish, I don’t recommend reading it. I get emotional reading some of those posts because man, being pregnant SUCKED then.

See! Told you it would be a quick post. I’ll see y’all next week. Have an awesome weekend!

Pretty Jewelry from Cooley Concepts

I love featuring baby/independent brands and womanpreneurs on Clumps of Mascara. I’ve been showcasing women all over the world and their amazing talents and products for years. There is so much inspiration out there and I love when some of us recognize our talents and find ways to profit from them. It’s a beautiful thing, I tell ya!

Today I am featuring a jewelry line from an 18-year old prodigy who is prepping up to graduate from high school. I call her a prodigy because while Loren could be the high school senior that I was who spent more time hangin’ with gal pals and lounging on the sofa, she’s making jewelry. She’s totally awesome in my book. She so gratiously sent me 2 of her pieces to show off. First up, the Bright Yellow and Rhinestone Wrap “Friendship” Bracelet.

Details about the bracelet:
-Great for stacking/Layering different colors!
-Measures approximately 6.75-7.0 inches in length
-Custom orders are available for specific size or color that is not already listed in my shop
-Wooden bead and loop for easy fastening
-Will stretch after a few days of wear!

The bracelet retails for a reasonable $6.25 and it’s such a dainty little piece. It took me a few seconds to get it on and I was worried it wouldn’t fit my ginormous wrist. But it did! Loren paid a lot of attention to detail because I didn’t experience any snagging in the bracelet. I’m going to get another one of these just so I can layer them. I love the pop the yellow gives and I’m thinkin’ the purple bracelet will compliment it beautifully. Check out the bracelet here.

She also sent me a pair of her Brown River Shell Beaded Dangle Earrings.

Details about earrings:
-Rivershell beads with copper colored seed beads
-On hypoallergenic, nickel free, kidney shaped hooks for pierced ears
-Matching necklace sold separately

Sweet, right? I’m a dangly earring lover so these were right up my alley. They retail for $6.99 and are easy to put in the ears and remove. I’m a a gal that wears a lot of earrings made from coconuts and random natural-inspired ingredients so I loved these earrings. They are great for dressing up and dressing down and I love the touch of the bronze-y beads.

You can scoop up the earrings here.

Pretty pieces, uh? Cooley Concepts also has other beautiful little trinkets like beautiful glass bead bracelets, lace bow rings and a nice selection of Christian prayer beads. Follow her Facebook page and stay up with current and upcoming products. If you purchase anything, tell her that B from Clumps of Mascara sent you. :cool:

Influenster Natural VoxBox. I’m impressed!

It’s a samples box! I’ve reviewed several of these before but this is my first time reviewing one from Influenster and reviewing one that focuses on natural beauty and health. Holla! What’s Influenster? Their website explains it best and chances are that if you are a blogger and/or have a strong online influence, you can be a candidate to receive Influenster boxes.

Okay soooooo…here we go with their first ever Naturals VoxBox!

At first glance I got a bit giddy because I spotted TWO brands that I was familiar with. That’s a good sign. Y’all know how much of a snob I am about skincare and while I love featuring all brands, I really only use natural skincare products on my crazy sensitive skin. Also, keep in mind that this box isn’t necessarily a “beauty” box. I was prepared to see all kinds of goodies up in this box.

Glad to see Influenster included a list of what was in said box…

First up is a single packet of EBOOST ($28 for box of 20 powders).

I don’t use products like these as I’d rather supplement with vitamins or at the very least get the “added”  vitamins in the food that I’m eating. And since I’m pregnant, I don’t want to try anything new. I suppose this would be great for those suffering from colds but I’m the type to sip some echinacea tea. I’m granola like that. :mrgreen:

Next up was the stick of GeoDeo.

What’s that? An all-natural deodorant? So up my alley! In fact, I’ve sworn off of traditional deodorants for quite some time and while it took me some time to find a brand that works, I’m pretty confident knowing that I’ll never go back to traditional deodorants. This brand is new to me and I was happy to see that it was “okay” in terms of natural deodorants.

It’s still not 100% natural because it’s got that Parfum (Fragrance) in it but hey…not bad. However, I tested it for a few days and smelled like a goat each day I used it. Ah well. My feelings aren’t hurt. I’ve tried enough natural deodorants to know that they are tricky. Some works and others don’t. I do like the packaging and concept behind this one though.

CleanWell Individual Hand Sanitizer Wipes ($29.99 for 50 pouches)

I’ve actually purchased and used CleanWell several times and love this alcohol-free hand sanitizer. I didn’t know they made wipes though. I prefer this over alcohol-based hand sanitizers because the ingredients are milder than other hand sanitizers.

Shea Moisture Organic Raw Shea Butter Baby Eczema Bar Soap.

Popular among the black girl natural hair community, Shea Moisture just happens to be one of my favorite skinare brands on the market. I’ve declared my love for Shea Butter manyyyyy times so I was excited to see this bar of soap. Plus I’m having a baby. And I have eczema. Perfect pick for me! I think I’m going to save this for when Baby Clumps is a little older and I’m hoping her precious skin won’t have to endure eczema. But if she gets it…I’ll be prepared. I’ll be honest though – the chances of me trying this before she is born are extremely likely! Oh, and Shea Moisture always impressed me with their lack of horrible ingredients.

Nectresse Natural No Calorie Sweeteners

Call me a snob but I’ve never been a fan of sweetners because they’ve always tasted artificial to me. Yes, even Splenda. I opt for agave nectar, honey and brown sugar and sometimes white sugar. That said, this isn’t a product that I would ever use. Oh and…what is monk fruit????

LypSyl Intense Protection LypMoisturizer

Look! It’s a lip balm. I got all excited when I saw this. As a fan of lip balms, bees and shea butter, I had high hopes for this balm. And it delivered! Ingredients-wise, it’s not too shabby.

The packaging is adorable…

And the product feels great on the lips. It has very light mint-ish scent and it feels nice and smooth on the lips. This is a product that I’d purchase again. In fact, had I seen it in stores, it’s likely that I would have purchased it before receiving this sample.

And lastly…The Original Dish Drying Mat ($4.99)

I’ve never seen anything like this but supposedly this mat helps to conserve energy and the use of paper towels because of its absorbency. Hmm. Okay. I haven’t found a real use for it just yet I like the concept.

Overall, I was VERY impressed with the Influenster Natural VoxBox. I’m more impressed than what I thought I’d be. While every product didn’t woo me, the majority of the did. So much so that I’ll be repurchasing most of them. Not too shabby!

How’s this for a natural centered sample box? Not too bad, uh?

Zoya Diva collection

I figured I should go ahead and crank this Zoya review out of the way because in a few weeks they’ll be launching their Winter collection. I can NOT believe that it’s already winter. Craziness. Anywhoovers, if you haven’t seen ‘em,  Zoya’s jelly collection, Gloss was freaking awesome and Designer wasn’t half bad either. The Diva collection is part III of the Fall 2012 collections.

Let’s get a look see at ‘em…

Suri is royal purple metallic and it is dynamic. I’m not a fan of the color purple unless it’s a rich and jewel toned as this one. Plus, I love this color because of the name. Anyone read the hilarious blog Suri’s Burn Book?

 

Elisa is a crimson metallic it’s quite the fire bomb of a nail polish. It’s a gorgeous red and you can detect a bit of orange in it when it hits the light.

Feifei is described as a magic blue foil sparkle metallic and it’s one of the two foil polishes in this collection. These type of nail polishes are just so so for me but I really love the shimmer in Feifei.

Ray is pine green metallic and it’s a beautiful hunter green with subtle shimmer.

Daul is described as a magic violet foil sparkle metallic and it’s got the same formula as Feifei. I like Daul better because that violet is just so eye catching and gorgeous.

Song is an Egyptian blue metallic with a subtle sparkle and it’s a little more vibrant than Zoya’s Tart, one of my favorite blues EVER.

Must Haves:
-Elisa: Very rarely do I recommend red polishes (because there are so many) but Elisa is just stunning.
-Daul: Awesome name, awesome formula and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.
-Song: Only if you don’t have any beautiful blues like this one.

Yay for this collection! The formula for each polish was awesome and I enjoyed the random foils tossed in. Zoya Diva collection is currently available at Zoya.com for $8 or $48 for the entire collection.

Which polish is your fave?

Urban Decay Friends and Family sale starts today!

 

It’s hereeee! Urban Decay’s Friends and Family sale starts today so if I made you all weak in the knees with wanting that awesome Naked Liquid foundation, now is your chance to grab it 20% off. See how much I look out for y’all? :cool:

The sale ends on Saturday, October 13th so you’ve only got a few days to get your discounted shop on. And I’m almost positive that the sale includes already discounted items as well. *squeals* Don’t forget to use discount code FFHOLIDAY12 at checkout.

 

Other Urban Decay recs of mine:
Lush Lash mascara – awesome mascara! Check out my review.
Eyeshadow Primer Potion – It’s only the best ever.
Naked 2 palette – I’m still the beauty loser who hasn’t tried out 1 or 2. I think this sale may convince me to splurge.
24/7 Double-Ended Glide On Pencil – I use Zero daily and Whiskey is the perfect color for more subtle looks.

Happy shopping!

Neosporin Eczema Essentials review

Since getting pregnant, my eczema has gotten 10x worse. Pre-pregnancy, I was always able to keep it under control. The itchies were confined to my lower back and while I had a few patches on my arm and neck, for the most part, it was manageable. Lately though, eczema has taken over my chest, parts of my arm and practically my entire back. It’s starting to hurt my feelings but wearing outfits and up do’s in my hair that show off my neck are virtually impossible.

So when I was presented with the opportunity to try Neosporin Eczema Essentials, I jumped to it. Because after all – what harm could it do? My next step was going to the dermatologist AND allergist. I saw a commercial about these products a few weeks ago and Skeptical B was all like, “Yeah yeah…promises to bring fast relief to eczema suffers. Whatever.” And then I got the products in my hands.

There’s a line-up of 3 Eczema Essentials products. The Daily Body Wash, Daily Moisturizing Cream and the Anti-Itch Cream. I’ll review each product individually and then rap on how they work together. I’ve been using these regularly for approximately 2 weeks time.

First up, the Daily Body Wash ($7.99)…

What it says it will do:
This collodial oatmeal skin protectant is proven gentle and non-irritating even on eczema-prone skin. Effectively cleanses even the most dry, sensitive skin. Contains a lipid, humectant, emollient and botanical blend to help retain moisture essential for healthy looking skin.

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Cocoglucoside, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Hydroxypropyl Starch Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Phenoxyethanol, Acrylates/Beheneth 25 Methacrylate Copolymer, PEG 150 Distearate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Citric Acid, Polysorbate 20, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Mineral Oil, Propylparaben, Polyquaternium 7, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Shea Butter, Glyceryl Oleate, Squalane, Retinyl Palmitate, Sodium Hydroxide, Butylene Glycol, Corn Oil, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylene Brassylate, Cis 3 Hexenyl Salicylate, Dihydrocitronellol, Oat Kernel Extract, Cholecalciferol

What I thought:
Like all of the products in the Eczema Essentials line-up, this body wash is fragrance-free. It’s a creamy cleanser that lathers well and rinses thoroughly but doesn’t dry out the skin too much. I didn’t find it to be particularly moisturizing but it didn’t leave my skin super tight after drying off so that’s always a good thing. The price point is about right for a speciality body care product. I think I’m using too much of it because the bottle seems to be getting emptier after only 2 weeks. These thicker and creamier body washes seem to be better for my skin than the clear ones.

 

Daily Moisturizing Cream (about $11)…

What it says it will do:
Clinically shown to relieve itchy skin due to eczema on contact. Shown in a clinical study to be as effective as the leading prescription* (*vs. the leading barrier emulsion in subjects with mild to moderate eczema with twice daily (or as needed) use.) Contains colloidal oatmeal, a skin protectant that helps relieve dryness, itch and irritation due to eczema.

Ingredients:
Water, Glycerin, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Panthenol, Distearyldimonium Chloride, Petrolatum, Isopropyl Palmitate, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Mineral Oil, Isopropyl Myristate, Ceramide NP, Steareth 20, Oat Kernel Oil, Oat Kernel Extract, Benzalkonium Chloride, Sodium Chloride

What I thought:
Packaging-wise, I would have loved to see more product in this cream. Because of the thick consistency of it, you’re likely to go out of product pretty quickly. Especially if you use it daily. Speaking of consistency, it feels nothing like a traditional lotion. In fact, at first glance, it looks like a creamy vaseline but once you rub it in, it feels like a greasy-less body balm.

Crazy description, I know. It turned me off the first time I used it but somehow it works. It takes some serious elbow grease to get it all over but to extend its use, I find myself only using it on my trouble areas and using coconut oil everywhere else. Of all of the products in this line-up, I found this to be the most effective. It kept the ash away and soothed my eczema. My condition of the skin on my lower back went from all alligator-ish to…smooth. Shocking! The eczema on my neck improved quite a bit too. I chuckled at the “Restores visibly healthier skin in 3 days” plug but I don’t know, y’all…by the 3rd day skin saw some serious improvements. WOW!

Hydrocortisone Anti-itch Cream (about $9)

What it says it will do:
Contains a dual-action formula to provide fast relief of itch flare-ups due to eczema while it moisturizes to restore visibly healthier skin. Clinically shown to improve dryness, flaking and the appearance of redness.


Ingredients:

Water, Petrolatum, Glycerin, Mineral Oil, Ceteareth 6, Dimethicone, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Stearyl Alcohol, Phenoxyethanol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Carbomer, Edetate Disodium, Methylparaben, Sodium Citrate, Dipropylene Glycol, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Citric Acid, Ethylene Brassylate, Oat Kernel Extract, Dihydrocitronellol, Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract, Cis 3 Hexenyl Salicylate, Sodium Hydroxide

What I thought:
I didn’t actually use this because I’m not sure if hydrocortisone is okay for pregnant women. I’ve been meaning to ask my midwife if it’s okay but forget every time I see her. Either way, I’m going to err on the side of caution and use this after Bean gets here. It looks promising and I can’t wait to see how well it works in conjunction with the other products.

 

Overall:
Having used 2 of the 3 of these products for 3 weeks, I am geeked! I would still like to visit a dermatologist and allergist to see if my eczema could be alleviated in other ways but for now I’m okay with using these products. Especially the cream. I usually tear apart my skin with itching and haven’t been doing so lately. So yep! As a crazy eczema suffer, I would say that Neosporin’s Eczema Essentials line-up is definitely worth the time and investment.

Mascara Monday: Essence Get BIG Lashes Volume Boost Waterproof mascara

Oooh baby baby! It’s an Essence mascara. I love me some Essence products. Have you seen their new swoon-worthy nail polishes? Girl. GIRL! They are hot stuff. I’ve played around with some of their mascaras before too haven’t been too impressed. But the other week I was in Ulta (for no real reason, of course) and came across this mascara. I’m always getting requests to review waterproof mascaras so I decided to give this baby a whirl.

Price: $3.99 at Ulta.com and you may spot it at Ulta stores.
Packaging (brush wand): 3 out of 5
Overall: 2 out of 5

What It Claims: “Essence Get Big! Lashes Mascara. Good things may come in small packages, but bigger is always better when it comes to lashes. Available in the original and waterproof formulas, with the option of two different brushes, this mascara from Essence will make batting your lashes a breeze.” (source)

The Truth: Oh no. I hate to say it but it sucked. Not just a little bit but a lot.

What I Loved About It: Well. Um. It’s affordable!

What I Didn’t Like: It was a hot and flaky mess. To make matters worse, I barely got any noticeable volume. Fail!

Overall: Oh geez. I really do hate writing mascara reviews about mascaras that sucked. But I’ve got to be honest with y’all. It comes with the territory. *sigh* But yeah..this mascara’s performance certainly wasn’t up to par. And it’s a shame really because I find that most of Essence’s products perform really well despite their affordable price tags. I mean, where else can you get decent products for your entire face for under like $10? Yeah. Essence rocks and I’ll continue loving them as a brand but when it comes to this mascara, it’s unlikely that you’ll hear me recommending it.

The wand…

The wand isn’t THAT terrible. I mean, yeah…it’s huge and uncomfortable for those of us who prefer smaller wands. Because the bristles are so large, it’s really hard to comb through the lashes. A wand like this is best suited for guys and gals who have long and thick lashes or those who don’t need to do much separating. My lashes, however….they ALWAYS need some form of separating. It’s difficult to get it with this wand. But it’s not the wand’s fault that I have special needs lashes.

Now let’s rap on the formula. WOW. And not a good WOW either. In first glance and with the first stroke of application, the wand doesn’t appear to be all that bad. It’s got a nice consistency. But with the the huge wand, the formula doesn’t seem to thicken up as well on the lashes. Even after a second coat, I didn’t really notice anything. A third coat showed a bit of omph but still not enough to appease me.

Hours later, I would notice this mascara flaking down my cheek. No bueno. I HATE when this happens. I can tolerate a lot of mascara woes but flaking is just a no no in my book. Flaking also means that the waterproof-ness of the mascara isn’t even that effective. What a waste! With the ginormous wand, flaking formula and ineffective waterproof properties, I’m thinking this isn’t one of Essence’s greatest hits. No worries. I still love you, E. But let’s step that mascara game up a bit, eh?

[NOTE: Okay now, check this out – the camera I used to use for eye close mascara pics has decided to leap to its death. I’m in the process of learning how to take pictures with my DSLR. Sooooooo bare with me, okay? ]

 

Bare Lashes



Lashes after 2 coats



Do I recommend it?: Nopers. Grab one of their awesome polishes instead.

Okay Essence lovers…have you tried this mascara? Or any of Essence’s mascaras? What do you think?