April 2017 Wish List

Air Fryer | Benefit Boxed Blush | Ole Henriksen Kit | Village Candle Coffee Bean | Beauty and the Beast Journal | Iconic Protein Drink

Here are a few of the awesome products that have caught my eye and made it onto my wish list for the new month.  We’ve got a little bit of everything this month.  Check it out!

Air Fryer ($150)- My biggest wishlist item of the month is an air fryer.  After seeing all of the awesome creations people are coming up with in their fryers, I’m having some severe envy about not having one of my own.  Air Fryers help you achieve the crisp cook of fried food while using little to no oil in the preparation.  This sounds like a dream come true.  I’m longing to get my hands on one of these so I can try out different veggies in there to make my own sweet potato fries, butternut squash bites, and I’m really dying to try the Green Giant cauliflower tots in there.  I was obsessed with them when I had them at my parent’s house, and I imagine tossing them in an air fryer rather than the oven will make them even more amazing. This appliance actually surpassed a new coffee maker on my wishlist. That’s just crazy talk!

Benefit Galifornia($29)- I’ve always enjoyed Benefit’s cult classic boxed blushes. Coralista has always been one of my favorites, and GALifornia looks like it might be a slightly brighter, but still completely wearable version of my all time favorite.   Read more

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Review

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

When I say “Dyson” you picture a high-end vacuum cleaner, right? Of course you do! I recently added their amazing cordless vacuum to my collection and I’ve never thought I could love a Dyson more than I love that vacuum.  Then I got my hands on their hair dryer…

Yes, Dyson, the brand many of us turn to for clean floors, makes a hair dryer, and it’s amazing. 

What makes the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer so special?

The Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is without a doubt the most high-tech piece of beauty technology I have ever used.  The professionals at Dyson worked long and hard to produce this well thought-out and designed product. Equipped with a Dyson v9 motor, the supersonic hair dryer gets hair dried quickly and with minimal damage to your precious strands.  The features of the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer are as follows:

  • Air Multiplier Technology: Air is amplified 3 times, producing a high-pressure, high-velocity jet of air (Think about the Dyson hand dryers in some public bathrooms.  Those things are powerful).
  • Pulse-width modulation enables precise control of the heating element.
  • Annular element construction: Annular double-stack heating element allows a compact barrel without compromising heat generation.
  • Glass Bead Thermistor: Thermal sensor measures exit flow temperature 20 times per second and transmits data to the machine’s microprocessor.
  • Intelligence: To help prevent extreme heat damage a microprocessor in the head intelligently controls the heating element using data from a thermistic bead.
  • 4 heat settings and 3-speed settings
  • Power: The Dyson digital motor v9’s 13 impeller blades spin at up to 110,000 rpm.  It’s fast, light, and small.
  • Vibration reduction mount: a rubber isolation mount prevents the motor from vibrating against the inside of the handle, reducing the transfer of noise between the motor and the case. 
  • Removable filter cage: easy cleaning!
  • Engineered for balance: the Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer is the only manufactured hair dryer with the motor in the handle instead of the head. 
  • Negative ions help reduce static in the hair.
  • LED indicators
  • Stainless steel magnetic interface: The only hair dryer with magnetic attachments for easy fitting and rotation.

Read more

Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 Review

Everyone knows that a crucial part of any skincare routine is exfoliation.  Exfoliating regularly gets rid of the dead cells resting on the surface of your skin that could result in dull, flaky, and even broken out skin, leaving you with a flake-free bright and fresh glow. There are two different types of exfoliation: physical and chemical.  Physical exfoliation is the type we probably think of when we hear the word “exfoliate.” Physical exfoliants use a buffing motion and some sort of grainy texture to remove the dead skin cells, while chemical ones simply require product application (and a little time) with no other action necessary. Today we’re taking a look at the AP25 Performance Peel from Exuviance, which is a chemical exfoliant.

About the Product

The Performance Peel AP25 contains a 25% blend of Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) and Polyhydroxy Acids (PHA) including Glycolic Acid, Mandelic Acid, and Gluconolactone. It works at skin’s surface to exfoliate the surface layers of the skin which are dead and dull, and it also enhances cell renewal to reveal fresher, healthier-looking skin. With regular use (up to twice a week), Exuviance has found that this peel:

  • Refines pore size and smoothes texture
  • Visibly diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Improve clarity and brightness
  • Brighten and even skin tone
  • Provide an overall healthy glow to the skin

How to Use

Cleanse face.  After your face is clean and dry apply a Step 1 (the packets are labeled for you) activator pad all over your face. Be careful to avoid eye and lip areas, and any areas that are super sensitive. This step 1 pad is applying the actual chemical peel to your face so pay attention to any stinging, tingling, burning, itching, peeling, or redness that may be happening while you’re waiting. As with most peels, a slight tingling sensation is to be expected. Leave step 1 on for up to (but no more than) 10 minutes.

When your 10 minutes are up, open and apply the Step 2 neutralizer pad. This is a solution that cancels out the acids in the peel effectively stopping the chemicals from doing anything else to your skin. Rinse your face with water.  If you find the tingling sensation too much to handle you can apply step 2 before the 10 minutes are up. This is your call, but if you’re really hurting or turning pretty red I suggest not trying to wait it out. Better safe than sorry. 

Use up to 2 times per week.

My Results

First, I am happy to say that I had zero burning and hardly any tingling sensation, save one application where I had a slightly irritated pimple (ie, I might have picked it a little the day before.. I know, shame on me). That burned, but only where the angry pimple was lurking. I shouldn’t even talk about application because it’s the easiest thing ever, but I will anyway.  Each packet contains one product soaked cotton round, and you apply it to your face like you would a toner. Okay, I’m a tad more thorough with the peel than I am my toner, but you get the idea.  After 10 minutes (I set an alarm because otherwise, I’d forget it was on) I do the same with the step 2 pad, taking care to make sure I apply it to every single millimeter of skin that I put the peel on.  After a quick rinse, I apply a strong moisturizer and I’m on my merry way.

While I haven’t used up the whole box of peels yet, based on ease and cleanliness of use and the lack of burning alone, I enjoy this peel. While I don’t necessarily see any improvement in my fine lines (that have just started to make an appearance on my face), I will say this does a great job of getting rid of my dead, flaky skin and leaves things looking a bit brighter and clearer. 

The Exuviance peel is $77 for 13 sets of 2-step packets (12 uses and an extra to skin test for reactions before your first use). I’ll be honest, this is definitely one of the more expensive peels out there (in terms of price per use), but it’s definitely still cheaper than going for a facial.  There are other options that have a bit less power, or a higher price tag and more uses, but at the end of the day, skincare is all about finding what works for you, and the Exuviance peel is a product that does what it claims it will do.  

You can find the Exuviance Performance Peel AP25 on the Exuviance website or at Ulta.

 

*I was sent this product for review via Exuviance and Brand Backer, but all opinions are my own*

6 Lip Products for the Holidays

With Christmas looming a mere 12 days away, this coming weekend is bound to be filled with holiday parties galore.  Winter is when we break out darker colors, smokey eyes, and bold red lips.  While I’m not usually a bold-lipped kind of lady, being in a show and rocking a bold red lip in Pippin has forever changed my opinion of red lippies, and I now have faith that I can rock them.  Here are 6 lip products I’ve been using this holiday season.

Smith & Cult Lip Gloss in The Warning:  This is the sheerest of all of my picks, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a perfect look for the holidays.  This bright red gloss brings a pop of Santa red to your lips without forcing you to panic about getting red lipstick everywhere. It’s hydrating, not sticky, and even has a little bit of subtle glitter in there for an extra pop of party bling. ($22 @ Smithandcult.com)

Too Faced Melted Berry Liquid Lipstick: Melted berry is a stunning shade of berry red (almost deep, dark pink.  Almost.) that will surely pop on your lips this season.  I’ve found that I really enjoy the formulation of the Too Faced Liquid Lipsticks, and this is a bold shade I found I wasn’t afraid of even on the very first wear. ($21 at Ulta)

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetic Stained Gloss in Nomad: I’ll be honest, at first I thought this shade appeared to be far too dark for me to even consider trying on. Turns out that this deep colored gloss sheers out into a great winter maroon. It can be sheer or be built up for a more intense coverage.  I was incredibly surprised by how much I liked this shade, and have been wearing regularly. ($18 on Amazon)

Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Matte Lipstick in Dolce Flirt: I got a mini of this lipstick from an Influenster campaign a year or so ago, so I had to try it for review purposes. This was another product that really surprised me by how much I liked it.  This matte formula was very comfortable and non-drying. The shade “dolce flirt” was such a beautiful, flattering true red color that I loved wearing it to my husband’s office Christmas party. I felt sexy, feisty, and very festive. (available at Nordstrom $38)

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella: This lip pencil is in a shade that feels like it was inspired by Miss Cruella DeVil herself. This is a deep scarlet red that definitely feels like the perfect bold winter lip in a long wear, top rated formula by Nars. ($26 @ Sephora)

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Pomegranate: This lip product is the one I used in my show that made me accept that I could pull off a bold red lip color.  Pomegranate is a gorgeous rich red that made my lips pop on stage, made my teeth look a bit whiter, and made me feel like a sexy little vixen going out on stage.  This is definitely a shade I will now rock on a regular basis. This product felt great on, stayed put, and lasted my entire show ( and afterward) without needing to be reapplied. This baby is the reason I’m no longer afraid to rock a bold lip, so shoutout to Bite Beauty to opening my eyes to a world beyond nudes and light pinks. ($24 @ Sephora)

What are some of your go-to lip products for the holiday party season? Do you wear the bold statement lip, or do you have some deeper neutrals that you enjoy? Let me know in the comments below. 

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links*

 

Too Faced Grande Hotel Cafe Review | Holiday 2016

grande-hotel-cafe-review

I’m a sucker for the holidays in pretty much any way, shape, and form, and the holiday releases from my favorite beauty brands are most definitely my weakest spot.  Since I wasn’t overly impressed with Too Faced’s releases from holiday 2015, I swore I wasn’t going to get hooked this year..and then I saw the holiday collection.  Christmas in New York is like a dream to me, and with the stunning shades and adorable packaging, I quickly broke my vow. I knew the collection had to be mine.  I ended up buying all 3 eyeshadow sets, as I couldn’t decide on one.  Today, we’re taking a look at the Grande Hotel 3 palette set.  

The Too Faced Grande Hotel is a collection of 3 individual eyeshadow palettes (Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and Gingerbread Cookie) that can be given as gifts (there’s even a To/From label on the back of each one) or can be kept as a set and includes a deluxe mini of Better Than Sex Mascara.

grande-hotel-packaging

First, let’s talk about the packaging.  Grande Hotel Cafe comes in a gorgeous box that’s shaped like a hotel you’d find in the heart of NYC.  When you remove the roof and open the doors you see the stunning interior decorated with Christmas trees (complete with famous Too Faced products underneath them) and you’re clearly meant to be sitting at the hotel’s coffee bar, where you would order one of the holiday beverages the palettes are named after. It’s genius packaging, and I’m not going to lie, the packaging definitely helped sell me the products.   Read more

June 2016 Favorites

June Favorites
Styling MousseLush Facial Scrub | Lancome Juicy Shakers | Champagne Pop Palette | Buxom Eye Shadows | Yogurt | Waitress | It’s Not Okay

Guys..we are halfway done with 2016!  What kind of craziness is that??  Anyway, I’ve been way busy with non-blog related things, so my favorites are a little late, but since there were some things I’ve been dying to tell you about, I figured better late than never was appropriate here.  Enjoy!

Surface Curls Firm Styling Mousse: During the summer I like to let my hair air dry and let the little bit of natural wave do its thing.  This mousse is one of the more sticky foaming products I’ve tried, but it really gets the job done.  I just put a little leave in conditioner in my hair and then flip my head over and scrunch a golf ball sized amount at the ends and I get separated, textured, and curly looking locks that are perfect for that natural, air dried look we love for summer. 

Lush Smugglers Soul Facial Scrub ($13.95): I hate to mention this because this product is a limited edition for Father’s Day (but as of this post it’s STILL available!!), but I want you all to be aware of this for next year.  This is a scrub that was actually geared towards men (at least that’s what I’ve been told) as a facial exfoliant, but once I touched it in store, I knew I had to have it.  There are bamboo granules ground up in here and it reminds me of the fine ground feel of a paste made with baking soda (which I’ve used as exfoliant in the past), which really gets the job done without feeling too abrasive.  My skin feels amazing after using this.  Bonus: it has the faint smell of sandalwood, which is so nice.  Be ready for it next year, because it’s definitely worth picking up.    Read more

April 2016 Favorites

April Favorites

Colour Pop Shadow | Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush | Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in Rebel | FitBit Alta | Jade Citrus Mint Tea | Gilmore Girls

 

I can’t believe it’s already May!  We’re in the second quarter of 2016, the weather has finally started to warm up, and we’re getting ready for the glorious joys that summertime promises to bring.  In the meantime, I have a few things that I loved using and enjoying during the month of April.  Check them out!  Read more

March 2016 Favorites |Monthly Favorites

Marrch2016Faves

Another month, another list of monthly favorites.  This month I actually have a legitimate amount of things I want to share with you.  Buckle up..I’ve got some good stuff to talk about.

 

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil– I started using a legitimate makeup remover (rather than just 4 or 5 Bioderma soaked cotton pads) to start my nighttime routine, and my skin appreciates it.  I wanted to find a cleansing oil that didn’t break the bank, but did a good job and this is it.  I take 2-3 pumps of this oil and rub it on my dry face, and rub it in for a little bit. Then, I wet my hands (and sometimes my konjac sponge) and continue to rub my face.  Adding water turns the oil into a milky white cleanser.  Once I rinse, my face feels so clean that some nights I don’t bother to cleanse again.  One swipe of a cotton pad with Bioderma afterwards proves to me how well this stuff works because the pad has virtually no makeup on it.  Winner! Read more

Choix Subscription Box Review

Choix Title

Subscription boxes are everywhere you look nowadays.  You might even be subscribed to one (or multiple) boxes.  I love them because it’s like getting little fun presents shipped right to me every month.  While the surprises are great, have you ever wished that you could choose the items that come to you in a subscription box? If so, Choix is the beauty subscription box for you.

Choix

The word Choix ((pronounced SHWAA) is French for “choice,” so the name is pretty genius.  Not only does it look pretty and sound fancy, but the name tells you a lot about the box in one word.  Choix is a beauty subscription box that sends you 5 samples of your choosing every month.  With products ranging from makeup for the entire face to skincare, it is an ideal box for the beauty enthusiast in your life who is a firm believer in “try before you buy.”

Choix carries a limited number of brand names, but the brand names are on the very high-end side, so I find that I am never at a loss for products I want to try.  Just a few names found on the Choix site are:

-NARS          -Benefit          -Bobbi Brown          -Kevyn Aucoin          -Lancome          -YSL       -Guerlain          -Cle de Peau          -Hourglass          -Clinique          -Smashbox

and more.   Read more

The Best Makeup of 2015

2015 Favorites in makeup.

2015 was quite a year, both in beauty and in general!  There were a ton of awesome products that hit the market. Some made a huge splash, and others..well, not so much.  I’ve put together a list of my personal favorites.  While many are new products from this past year, there are a handful on here that are not new to beauty, but I finally added to my collection and fell in love with them, so they’re new loves to me personally.  Let’s jump right in.

Cover Girl Ready, Set, Gorgeous Foundation: This foundation is full coverage (or mostly full, anyway), oil-free, doesn’t break me out, and is only $7.99 at drugstores and Ulta.  There’s nothing about that to not love.  While I enjoy trying higher end foundations, when I find something my skin loves for such a killer price, I stick with it.

It Cosmetics Celebration Foundation: This is a powder formula that offers the most full coverage I’ve ever seen in a powder before.  While I still need some concealer on my dark circles and breakouts, I fell in love with this because of how quickly I can put it on and be out the door.  It’s great for days when I don’t want to do a full face of makeup, but I still want to put some coverage over my troubled skin.  Totally in love with this quick fix.

Makeup Forever Full Cover Concealer: I have used this concealer for several years now, and it still remains my favorite.  Full coverage, oil free, and a little bit goes a long way, so I don’t even feel guilty about paying a high end price for it. I find it works great on my acne and scarring, however it is not the right kind of concealer for your under eye area.  Look for a slightly more hydrating formula, as the oil-free formula of this MUF concealer doesn’t work as well.  MUF did recently release a new concealer made just for those of us with under eye issues, which I do plan on trying when I’m in the market for a new under eye concealer.

ELF Contour Palette: This palette is just as good (if not better) than many of the high end contour palettes I’ve tried.  There are 4 shades: A bronze, contour, shimmer highlight, and yellow matte highlight.  The only shade I haven’t touched is the bronzer shade, but all of the others I use regularly, especially the contour shade.  When you can find a contour palette that is just a good as the ones that cost upwards of $40 and this one costs $6…well, you just go with it.

NARS Blush in Deep Throat: When I was in Japan I discovered I could get a NARS blush for a few dollars cheaper than in the US, but they were always sold out of Orgasm (my go to shade), so I had to branch out.  It turns out that Deep Throat is the perfect peachy, warm coral shade for my face.  There’s less shimmer than in Orgasm, but I actually prefer that for daily wear.  This blush is highly pigmented and will last a really long time, so it’s worth the price to me.

TheBalm Mary-Lou Manizer: I don’t know what took me so long to get this lovely piece of highlighting goodness. First of all, this product is huge, so it will last a long time.  Secondly, she’s simply stunning.  Mary-Lou is a beautiful, slightly golden highlight with multiple purposes.  I bought her as a highlighter, but one day decided to swipe her across my eyelids to see what would happen, and she made my eyes look so good with very little effort. I didn’t realize at the time that theBalm actually has “eyeshadow” as one of Mary-Lou’s functions.  She instantly brightens any look with very little product.  Dab her on your inner corners to brighten the eyes, or swipe her on your cheek bones for a stunning shimmer.  LOVE her.

Makeup Forever Artist Palette Vol 1: If I had to choose only one eye product to feature for the entire year, it would be this palette.  The 9 nude shades that come with it can create many looks from barely there to intense and smoky.  The shadows are buttery and smooth, highly pigmented, and easy to work with.  I’m definitely considering picking up another MUF palette in the new year.

Colour Pop Super Shock Shadow in Glitterati:  I’m obsessed with this product. Glitterati was the first Colour Pop shadow I tried and I was completely blown away.  It’s gold toned shimmer that is clearly meant to sparkle, but I feel it works in a sophisticated way, like glitter for the working woman.  I adore things that sparkle, so I was instantly hooked.  I find the Colour Pop shadows are best applied with my finger tips, which is fine since I use this as an all over lid color (usually blending something darker in afterwards).  For $5, you can’t go wrong.

Colour Pop Creme Gel Color in No Shame: I wanted to branch out this year and started learning how to apply gel liners.  Ultimately I opted for a deep plum rather than a black gel liner, and this one did not disappoint.  This is a formula that won’t budge, lasts all day, and has stunning color payoff.  For only $6 (price point was a big thing for me this year, as you can tell), I’m sure this product rivals many that cost several times as much. If you’re looking for a gel liner but you’re afraid to invest, I highly suggest giving Colour Pop a try.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment: I got a mini of this product in a Sephora Favorites kit, and I totally understand why it’s in there.  This hydrating and nourishing lip formula keeps my lips feeling amazing for quite some time.  I find myself reaching for it throughout the day, either before lip color or just to refresh my dry lips, especially in the winter time. Bonus: It also contains SPF 15 for sun protection. Once I run out of this mini, there is a pretty good chance I will be getting a full size one.

Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick in Musk: Another brand I “discovered” and fell in love with in 2015 is Bite Beauty.  Among their amazing product lineup is this lipstick, which has long lasting color and is super hydrating.  I find myself reaching for this lipstick instead of lip balm sometimes, and it definitely gets the job done.  Musk is a beautiful dusty rose shade that looks natural, but gives my lips a little something more.

Fleur DeForce’s Lip Gloss in Written in the Stars:  I’m sure you know YouTuber Fleur DeForce. This year she released a book and launched a makeup line.  I went to one of her signings and she was giving out her makeup to the fans that came.  I picked out this gloss because she mentioned it being one of her favorite things in a late summer favorites video.  This formula is amazing. SO hydrating, very pigmented, and don’t even get me started on the delicious vanilla scent..  I’m completely obsessed over this product. The price is an added bonus at just under $11 on feelunique.com.

There you have it friends, my best in beauty for 2015.  Let me know in the comments below what some of your favorite products of 2015 were.

Here’s to a beautiful 2016!