Friday, February 27, 2015

NOTD: Pink Polka Dots with OPI, Sally Hansen, and Julep

Something about this look reminds me of the symbol used to ward off the evil eye, albeit rather loosely translated. 
The base polish is the sheer peachy pink jelly Isn't That Precious by OPI.  The lighter pink dots are Poetic Peony, a now discontinued beyond Perfect Sally Hansen polish.  The center dot is DeAnn by Julep, which looks distinctively more purple in the bottle than it does in this look.
These pictures were taken about 4 days into wear and is holding up quite well after a week, making it an easy winter to spring transition look.  Hopefully it's warding off the evil eye as well :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Clarins' Haul

Disclaimer:  I purchased this.
I continue to be impressed with Clarins' products, from their skincare to their makeup.  So, I took advantage of the recent Valentine's Day GWP offer to pick up another Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster and an item that's been on my wish list - The Lotus Face Treatment Oil. 
The Radiance-Plus Golden Glow Booster ($30)has become my holy grail facial self-tanner, and a bottle lasted almost an entire year (see full review here).  
The Lotus Face Treatment Oil is formulated for oily skin, which makes it perfect for me. 
I also selected samples of the Blue Orchid and Santal Facial Treatment Oils, as well as the Tonic Body Treatment Oil.  I've actually been using the Santal oil this week, as with the cold weather I thought my skin would benefit from a more moisturizing formula.  So far, I'm loving it.  I also love how generously sized the samples are, as they should last me quite a while.

The Valentine's GWP included skincare and makeup items with a sweet white and red makeup bag, which I forgot to photograph.  Here are the items that were inside, however.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Glow Highlighting Powder in Champagne by Julep

The Glow Highlighting Powder in Champagne ($28) was one of the beauty item selections in Julep's February The Afterglow collection (review of the Boho Glam Maven box here).  A soft beige gold, this pressed powder is a generously sized 12 grams and is falling within my comfort zone when it comes to highlighters:  refined and subtle as opposed to frosty or metallic.
The Glow Highlighter is larger in size than the Glow Bronzer, and apparently Julep listened to feedback from customers and made the Highlighter a firmer pressed powder than the loosely packed bronzer, cutting down significantly on powder kickup.  Below you can see the shimmer of Champagne compared to the satin finish of the Glow Pore Minimizing Bronzer in Light Golden Bronze (full review here).
Top:  Champagne Glow Highlighter
Just like the bronzer, the formula features a light-diffusing diamond powder and vitamin B6 to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, discoloration and pores.  There is also rosehip seed oil to soothe and repair skin, Malvaceae Lipid Extract to improve skin barrier function and retain moisture, and green coffe bean oil to promote skin cell turnover.
Overall, I'm pleased with Champagne, as it does highlight my skin without emphasizing skin imperfections.  It's hard to overdo it but can be built up in intensity, allowing you to easily control the amount of shimmer from the get go. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

MAKE Calypso Eyeshadow Palette: Gorgeousness

 Disclaimer:  I purchased this.  Links are for convenience only.
When I first received the MAKE Calypso palette as part of Birchbox's Vanity Affair set, I was a bit flummoxed by the selection of colors.  I wasn't quite sure how to make these work together, nor was I even sure these were colors I would wear.  After several weeks of use, I've changed my tune.  These are GORGEOUS.
For those not familiar with MAKE, it's a for-benefit brand (33.3 % of purchases made on the We See Beauty site go to support their foundation which supports cooperatives) with a mission to "encourage creative self-expression through color by fostering contemporary collaborations between makeup artists and creatives worldwide".  
Clockwise:  Alabaster, Bentonite Clay, Great Lakes, Woad
Housed in a sturdy cardboard case, there are a mixture of finishes in Calypso:  matte (Woad, Midnight, Cast Iron), satin (Bentonite Clay, Great Lakes, Aquamarine, Star Anise), and one glitter (Alabaster).  The formula on all of them is really, really nice:  smooth, great pigmentation, minimal fallout, and just so easy to work with.  I'm impressed.
Clockwise:  Aquamarine, Star Anise, Midnight, Cast Iron
I've been wearing Alabaster as an inner eye highlighter and Bentonite Clay on my brow bone almost exclusively for the past several weeks, love them both.  I thought Aquamarine would be a no go for me, but even that outside of my comfort zone color managed to work well for me.  Who knew?

I've used every color in this palette and have yet to think "that didn't work".  At first I thought the two dark blues were rather similar to be in the same palette, but actually Woad is a true navy whereas Midnight has a decidedly teal undertone.  Great Lakes was another surprise, as it looks gray in the pan but leans periwinkle blue on the skin.  Just so pretty!
 Here are a few of the eye looks I've done with Calypso:
Star Anise, Alabaster
Aquamarine, Great Lakes, Bentonite Clay, Alabaster
Star Anise, Cast Iron
The Calypso palette can be found exclusively at the Birchbox Shop for $40, which is a steal considering MAKE single shadows are $25 each.  These are cruelty, paraben, and fragrance free, and now that I've discovered them, I see more in my future.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Green & Natural Sample Filled Bear Naked Bag from Drugstore.com

Disclaimer:  Images are from drugstore.com, unless otherwise noted.
Just wanted to give a heads up that drugstore.com is offering a GWP bag filled with $42 worth of green and natural samples.  I took advantage of this offer several years back and really enjoyed testing out the various products I received.
2013 Earth Day sample bag contents (Photo:  my own)
This year's version contains a mixture of food/snack items, supplements/natural remedies, and beauty items.
I see quite a few new to me brands, which is one of the reasons I enjoy taking advantage of these kind of offers.  I've been shopping at drugstore.com for years now, and really appreciate the variety of items they offer, as well as the frequent sales and GWP offers.
To meet the $50 minimum purchase, I selected  mainly food items, although this avocado oil could potentially double as a beauty item as well.
I like to have nutrition/snack bars on hand for those days when I'm running late and need a quick, portable breakfast.
And I needed salt.
I've been making fruit/vegetable/protein smoothies several times a week for breakfast, and I swear my skin is looking better as a result.  It's a really easy way to get my daily dose of antioxidants from real food sources, plus I like them :-)  I'm looking forward to trying out this plant based protein powder.
The Bear Naked bag filled with green and natural samples is available until February 28th if you feel inclined to indulge.  You have to access this offer via a special link (which I'm hoping is also available to all via their site, as mine came via email), as no code is involved. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Roller Lash Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics

Disclaimer:  I received this in my Birchbox subscription, which I purchased.
Benefit has a new mascara called Roller Lash about to come out, and I was fortunate enough to receive a deluxe sample sized version in my February Birchbox.
Per usual, the packaging is whimsical and lovely, with it's spring like pink and green colors.  The mascara is pretty darn good as well :-)
This is supposed to be a super curling and long-wearing (12 hr) mascara, with a hook 'n roll brush designed to lift and separate lashes.  Lash conditioning ingredients include Provitamin B5 and Serin, and it is water resistant yet easy to remove (it removed easily with my oil cleansing routine).  The brush is indeed distinctive with it's pink spiked combs, which does a good job of grabbing and separating lashes while depositing mascara.
I've got rather straight lashes that I curl prior to applying mascara.  I experienced no smudging or flaking, nor did it irritate my contact wearing eyes.  I'm strictly a one mascara coat wearing kind of girl, and I thought Roller Lash provided enough impact to make that one coat work for me. 
With Roller Lash
Without Roller Lash

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Roller Lash retails for $24, and  Sephora is currently offering the same mini size I'm showing free to Beauty Insiders with a $25 purchase (code ROLLERLASH).  So, if you want to give it a whirl before it becomes available on February 27th, that's an option.