Aug 14, 2018

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish Summer Solstice Collection: Ocean Daze, Koi Coral, and Golden Glow

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish - Summer Solstice Collection  Koi Coral - Golden Glow - Ocean Daze  - Swatches
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish - Summer Solstice Collection
Koi Coral - Golden Glow - Ocean Daze
Products provided for review

What do you love the most about summer?  Do you even love summer?  For me, it's a bit of a love-hate.  I hate the heat and would stay indoors with the shades drawn, the AC on full blast all day if I could, but I also am a plant-hoarder, and as any plant-crazy lady (or guy) will tell you, there really is no substitute for bright sunshine.  But if you are looking for an easier way to get bright pops of color this summer, Sally Hansen has you covered with the Summer Solstice collection.  The nail colors in this summer-themed collection range from bright corals and pinks to softer pastels and golds.  I got to try out 3 of these colors - Koi Coral, Golden Glow, and Ocean Daze.  Scroll on for pics.

Aug 13, 2018

Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Nude Edition Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches, Review

Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Nude Edition Eyeshadow Palette - Review - Swatches
Rimmel Magnif'Eyes Nude Edition Eyeshadow Palette ($7.99)
Product provided for review

Neutral/nude palettes have been around for a while now, and there is a version or two by every brand.  Despite that, I am always happy to try out the next new "Nude" palette, especially when it's  by a brand that's easy on the pocket like this Magnif'Eyes Nude Edition eyeshadow palette by Rimmel.  The Magnif'Eyes eyeshadow palettes are available in 5 color themes - Nude (pictured above), Smoke (as the name suggest, a darker smokier collection), Spice (warm neutrals – I really wanted this but couldn't find it at my local Target), Blush (rose/plum-toned neutrals), and Color (this one has some brighter shades – teal, copper, gold, along with some neutrals and darks).  I got to try out the Nude edition (thanks to PR folks), and for my medium-dark skin tone, this works great as a soft-neutral eyeshadow palette.  Scroll on for swatches and photos.

Jul 27, 2018

Lancome L'Absolu Lip Lacquers - Swatches

Lancome L'Absolu Lip Lacquers - Swatches
Lancome L'Absolu Lip Lacquers ($26 each)

It's been a while since I checked Lancome's new launches, so it's no surprise that I missed these Lancome L'Absolu Lip Lacquers.  The oil-in-water emulsion formula claims to deliver high-shine, light-weight, long-lasting vivid color.  Apply a single coat for sheer color, build up with 2-3 coats for a more opaque finish.  Scroll on for swatches.

Jul 16, 2018

MAC Plenty of Pout Plumping Lipsticks – Swatches

MAC Plenty of Pout Plumping Lipsticks – Swatches
MAC Plenty of Pout Plumping Lip Collection

The newest from MAC – Plenty of Pout lip collection – is supposed to be a bunch of things, but before I get to that, I have to talk about the promo photo.  Umm ... someone somewhere thought having a bee on the lip is a fun image?!  I get that they are going for the bee-stung lips concept, but I find the imagery just weird.  Anywho, moving on to the Plenty of Pout collection, it includes lipsticks (and a lipgloss) that promise full pouty lips and sheer, creamy color.  The lip plumping effect comes not from bees (thankfully) but from ginger root complex that gives a cooling sensation to the lips and moisturizing oils that give a moisturized, smoothened effect.  Most of the colors were sold out at my local MAC counter, but I did get some swatches to share here.  Scroll on for more.

Jul 14, 2018

Caudalie Instant Detox Face Mask

Caudalie Instant Detox clay face mask - review
Caudalie Instant Detox Face Mask ($39/75 mL)

As someone with oily-combination skin and a long history of fighting acne breakouts (still have the scars to show for that 😭), I have been through a lot of clay-based face masks.  In general, they are a great way to tone down the oiliness and give the skin a fresh and tightened feel.  Unfortunately though, much like my experience with oil-free moisturizers and acne-fighting face washes, most clay-based face masks leave my skin feeling and looking dry, dull, and parched.  I am quite convinced pure clay-based face masks work best on younger skins or as heavy artillery on an occasional pimple.  For regular, all-over use, though, they have always seemed too drying for me.  And that's why I love the Caudalie Instant Detox face mask.

Jul 13, 2018

Tom Ford Liquid Lip Lacquers - Swatches

Tom Ford Liquid Lip Lacquers - Swatches
Tom Ford Liquid Lip Lacquers ($55)

Intensely saturated glossy lip colors seem to be the trend this season, and among recent launches in this category are the Tom Ford Lip Lacquers.  These liquid lip colors deliver long-lasting color and are available in three different formulations – Liquid Matte (rich creamy, dries to velvety matte), Liquid Patent (ultraglossy finish), and Liquid Metal (glossy metallic color).  Scroll on for swatches.

MAC x Aaliyah Makeup Collection - Swatches

MAC x Aaliyah Makeup Collection - Swatches
MAC x Aaliyah Makeup Collection 

MAC x Aaliyah makeup collection is inspired by the R&B icon, singer, actress Aaliyah Haughton.  While I am not the most up to date on music or movies, Aaliyah's story of talent and determination is quite inspiring. From what I read, MAC x Aaliyah is a fan-requested creation and includes colors and products that are a reflection and interpretation of Aaliyah's style.  The collection includes an eyeshadow palette, lipglosses, lipsticks, lipliners, and a bronzer.  Scroll on for swatches.

Jul 10, 2018

Marc Jacobs Beauty Enamored Hydrating Gloss Sticks - Swatches

Marc Jacobs Beauty - Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Sticks - Swatches
Marc Jacobs Beauty - Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Sticks ($28)

Marc Jacobs Beauty's newest launch is a lip gloss and balm hybrid – Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick. The packaging design looks like the regular Marc Jacobs lip glosses, but what looks like the black cap is actually the tube housing the balm-like gloss stick.  I find the packaging quite brilliant, but it might be a bit impractical to pick out from a jumbled up bag of lip products.  Unlike regular twist-up tubes of balm, these gloss sticks have a more controlled twist, and you can actually hear/feel the clicks as you turn the glossy stick out (kind of like twist up eyeliners).  More on that in a bit.  The product itself, despite the packaging, looks and feels exactly like a very creamy, tinted lip balm.  The shade range stays around the neutral range, with a deeper shade or two and some brighter pinks and peach.  Scroll on for swatches.

Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches

Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches
Urban Decay Born To Run Eyeshadow Palette ($49)

The newest eyeshadow palette by the brand that made neutrals a makeup must-have, the Urban Decay Born to Run eyeshadow palette is a step or three away from the Naked palettes.  This is a palette for those who love deep, rich colors, and is filled with warm browns, pinks, plums, and gorgeous metallics.  With its sleek, modern design and 21 eyeshadows to choose from, the Born to Run eyeshadow palette is perfect for the globetrotting girl (and guy).  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.

Jul 9, 2018

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Laquer - Swatches

NARS Full Vinyl Lip Laquer Lipgloss - Swatches
NARS Full Vinyl Lip Laquer ($26)

NARS summer 2018 makeup includes a range of new lip lacquers/gloss – Full Vinyl Lip Lacquers.  Available in 10 shades, these lip lacquers feature intense color and a high-shine finish.  The applicator has a unique design, with one side to be used for placing the color and the other helps to apply the color evenly.  There are a couple of shimmery colors in the range and some saturated glossy finishes without any glitter in them.  The shade range does a good job of covering most makeup styles, with colors ranging from pale champagne to vampy edgy black, and some easy-to-wear neutrals.  Scroll on for swatches.

Jul 8, 2018

Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches | Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette - Swatches
Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow Palette ($59)

The Moroccan Spice Eyeshadow palette is one of the new products in the Fenty Beauty range.  This sleek palette features a glossy black and purple packaging and includes a generous-sized mirror.  As always, the team at Fenty Beauty has managed to stay true to the brand, including rich colors and a mix of textures, both matte and shimmery, and creating an eyeshadow palette that would work well on many skin tones.  There are a lot of warm-toned shades – copper, bronze, and browns – and there are also some cool-neutral shades, as well as some darker, deeper eyeshadows for those who want to add some drama to the eye makeup look.  Scroll on for swatches.

Jun 30, 2018

A Splurge And a Save: Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and SW Basics Rose Water

SW Basics Rosewater – Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist - Facial Mist Sprays - Review
SW Basics Rosewater – Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist

I love reading about makeup and skincare dupes, but as tempting as it might be to believe that a $10 cream is exactly the same as something that costs $200, it's almost always one of those too-good-to-be-true stories (or a lousy $200 cream 😏). Even accounting for the advertising and packaging markup that contributes to a higher price tag, a lot of the pricier products do contain pricier ingredients and/or higher concentrations. That's not to say, though, that an inexpensive product cannot be awesome or that a pricey one will work miracles.  You could just find two equally great products, without labelling anything as a dupe, as is the case with two of my favorite facial sprays – the Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist and the pocket-friendly SW Basics Rose Water.

Jun 25, 2018

Lavanila Healthy Deodorant - Vanilla and Earth

Lavanila Healthy Deodorant - Vanilla and Earth - Review
Lavanila Healthy Deodorant - Vanilla and Earth (available HERE)
Product provided for review.

Lavanila products are a go-to for anyone looking for more natural options, and their range of healthy deodorants are one of my favorites.  With no parabens, aluminum, or propylene glycol, these deodorants rely on high quality essential oils and an innovative beta-glucan (sourced from oats, barley, and sugar) technology to deliver long-lasting freshness.  The new Elements collection uses specific essential oils to enhance our connection to the elements, and the version I got to try out is the Vanilla + Earth for Balance.  With soft, woody notes of sandalwood, patchouli, and vanilla, this deodorant supposedly enhances focus and concentration.  Essential oils work their magic in mysterious (to me) ways, and while I generally take their health and wellness benefits for granted, there's no denying that most of them smell awesome.  Vanilla is a favorite of mine, and as with most other Lavanila products I have tried, the Vanila + Earth deodorant is brimming with the sweet vanilla goodness, rounded off with the warmer, woody notes.

May 31, 2018

Summer Skincare with Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and Korres Olive Body Balsam

Summer Skincare with Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and Korres Olive Body Balsam
Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and Korres Olive Body Balsam
(Product samples provided for review.)

Summer is a fabulous time of the year for many reasons, especially if you love gardening like I do.  As much as I love all the outdoor time, I also have quite sensitive, dry skin that gets all itchy and irritated with the heat.  This is usually when I switch out (or at least alternate) my heavier moisturizers with lighter, easier-to-use lotions.  Two new ones I have been trying out recently are the Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and the Korres Olive Body Balsam.

The Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin moisturizer is a new-to-me product.  Unlike regular moisturizers, this goes on wet/damp skin, and there's nothing more to do after that.  No rinsing off, no scrubbing, nothing.  Just pat dry skin with a towel as you would regularly do and get on with the day.  The moisturizer is light and absorbs easily into the skin, leaving skin smooth and soft with no visible residue.  With any skincare, fast and easy is almost as important to me as being effective.  It's so much easier to stick to a routine when it's short and convenient, which is why the Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin moisturizer is perfect.  Bonus, it has a barely noticeable scent that won't clash with my perfume or be overwhelming in any way.

Korres Olive Body Balsam is a light moisturizer with a lovely green floral scent to it.  With my dry skin, I do find it a little too light, but for those with normal skin and/or for humid days, this would be a good pick.  I keep it around to use as a hand cream since the tube is easy to carry around, and this doesn't leave my hands sticky or greasy.

 Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and Korres Olive Body Balsam - Ingredients
 Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer and Korres Olive Body Balsam - Ingredients

Let me know if you have any go-to summer moisturizers - I would love to give those try!

Product samples were provided for me to try out and review.

Feb 2, 2018

Sephora #Lipstories Lipsticks - Swatches

Sephora #Lipstories Lipsticks - Photos Swatches
Sephora #Lipstories Lipstick Collection ($8 each) 

The Sephora #Lipstories lipstick collection launched a while back, but I hadn't paid much attention to it until I saw this display at my local Sephora.  It looked so cheerful with all the instagram-style photos, I had to check it out.  Turns out, the $8 lipsticks displayed are just as awesome!  Available in 40 shades, and in finishes ranging from matte to cream and some shimmery metallic shades, it's impossible not to find a shade - or a dozen - to love.  Scroll on for more photos and swatches.