Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mario Badescu Seaweed Night Cream Review

A lot of beauty bloggers have raved about Mario Badescu's acne control skin care, and I have always been intrigued with the brand because it seems effective yet affordable. I recently had my first encounter when trying out a sample of the Seaweed Night Cream. 

This is touted to be a non-greasy, oil-free moisturizer that provides heavy duty moisture with ingredients like seaweed, collagen, and hyaluronic acid. It says it is for skin types C (combination), O (oily), and S (sensitive). However, I felt this moisturizer was in fact a bit greasy and would be best suited for dry skin. In fact, I really liked how well this moisturized my super dry winter skin. 

Don't let the green color deter you. This stuff is pretty good...if you have dry skin. A few days ago I had some dry patches on my skin and I used this all over my face and within 2 days the dry patches were completely healed! That being said, this creamy is VERY thick and it is a bit greasy so it takes time to absorb in to the skin. This is not for everyone but I think it would work well for those with super dry skin, especially in the cold winter months. 

Have you tried anything from Mario Badescu? 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Beating the Winter Cold - Cuddl Duds Warm Wear

When I first moved to Philadelphia from LA, I asked my friends what type of coats and thermals they wore. Amazingly, none of them used Cuddl Duds.

Cuddl Duds are thermals (long underwear) that are super soft, very warm, form fitting, and not at all like your grandmother's long underwear. These are not the typical waffle thermals that are thick, bunch up under clothes, and have crotches that are 3 feet below the waist. These are actually made to fit a woman's body! They come in crew-neck and v-neck styles, but the v-neck is pretty high and is still visible when worn in many of my sweaters. However a good scarf covers that right up. I purchase mine at Macy's (they are 50% off right now), but they are also available at places like Kohls and JC Penney and online. They also come in various varieties: Softwear, ActiveLayer (with moisture-wicking and temperature control properties to the fabric), ClimateSmart (temperature control), and Softwear Stretch (super soft and sleek).

I also found these boxed versions at Sam's Club and I have seen these same ones at Target. However, the quality of these is not as good as the Macys ones. These are not as soft, they are more polyester-y to the touch, and don't come in the same varieties as the other stores I mentioned above. These feel like a cheap microfiber fabric that is better than waffle thermals, but not as good as the others above.

Cuddle Duds come in black, white, and light pink solids, and some stores carry a few prints like animal print and stripes. I like the lace trim on the ones pictured above because they are a bit feminine, but I like the non-lace ones too because they look like normal clothing. My favorite style is ActiveLayer because it helps regulate temperature, especially when shopping and I am constantly in and out of the cold, and I like the Softwear Stretch ones because they are super soft and the bottoms even have a bit of a low rise so that they are perfect under my low-rise jeans. They don't bunch up under normal clothing and even look like normal clothes so if you wore a Cuddl Duds top and jeans nobody would know you were wearing a thermal top. 

Cuddl Duds are a great investment for keeping warm as they are functional and ideal for layering. They are a bit pricey at around $30 per piece, but they are on sale practically everyone right now so they are affordable and VERY worth it. My only wish is that they would make a low-cut neck version so that I could wear them under more sweaters without having the neckline show. 

Now all my friends use Cuddl Duds. Have you tried them?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Holiday-Perfect Fragrances from The Soap and Paper Factory: Pure Soy Candle and Solid Perfume Reviews

Ok, so I have changed the look of the blog yet again. I was having some issues with Wordpress and honestly I just don't have a huge chunk of time to sit down and figure out how to fix everything. Many of the photos from recent posts are not showing up but I will be fixing that in the next couple weeks. 

Back to the post.

Since I was a teenager I have loved candles. Not just collecting or admiring them, but I love to burn them. When I was younger my dad was always paranoid that I would knock one over so he made sure I was super careful, and I am glad he did, since my love for candles has only grown and I burn them quite frequently, so safety is #1. 

Soy candles are all the rage now and I was excited to have the opportunity one of the Pure Soy Candles form The Soap and Paper Factory

I love Vanilla fragrances, especially during this time of year, so the scent Burnt Vanilla is perfect for me. Well, it would have been perfect if it actually smelled like vanilla. I burned this candle for 3 hours and my living room only vaguely smelled like vanilla, and that too after I walked out of the room and backed in. When I was just sitting in the room I couldn't smell a thing The fragrance itself is nice when I hold the candle up to my nose, and it supposedly lasts 55 hours, but to justify the $18 price tag I believe the company needs to make the fragrance more powerful.

One product that the company did get right is the Solid Perfume:

This is a typical solid perfume that is great for travel or sticking in your handbag for touch-ups on the go.  The website says you can use this as a typical fragrance on the body's pulse points or even apply a little to the hair as a pomade. I mainly used this as a perfume, because it is quite thick and I don't want to use up half the product on one hair application. 

The fragrance I tried is Amber Absolute and it smells exactly like Amber Romance from Victoria's Secret. This too has a bit of a vanilla-y scent but much for sensual due to the sandalwood and amber combination. 

On the skin this fragrance lasts about 2 hours and then starts to fade, but I can still smell it faintly after 5-6 hours. The solid perfume retails for $18 and I especially like it for travel because of all the restrictions these days on liquids in carry-on luggage. I am anxious to try out the scent called "Close" because it smells of sandalwood, vetiver, oakmoss, a combination that is just up my alley.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2 Gifts or 10 Gifts - Smashbox Holiday Gift Ideas

I have professed my love for Smashbox makeup sets in the past, so I was super excited to try out some of the brand's holiday offerings: the Life is Your Set Holiday Pencil Kit and the Snap You're Fab Holiday Lip Gloss Set:

Top-Bottom: Sapphire, Espresso, Emerald, Black, and Gold

L-R: Lip Enhancing Gloss in Radiant, Pout, Luster, Infamous, Pink Sugar, and It Girl

Since I am an eyeliner-aholic, I was really excited to try out the pencil kit, until I read and re-read the box to find out that the liners in the set are NOT the Limitless Eye Liners that Smashbox is famous for. These are just regular pencil eyeliners. Still, the colors are gorgeous and highly pigmented:

Natural Light L-R: Sapphire, Espresso, Emerald, Black, and Gold

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beauty Blog Link Love

Jen celebrates earth tones with this FOTD at My Funny Valentine.

Want luscious long lashes? Amy Antoinette shows us the impressive results of Rapidlash.

Fleurissante shares her impressions on Chanel Holiday 2011 collection.

Phyrra shares with you her new favorite way to follow all her beloved beauty bloggers... on the Kindle Fire!

Take a sneak peak at the new Sigma Extravaganza Complete Kit and grab the Sigma Brushes coupons at Handmade Reviews.

Feeling the holiday blues? FabDiva20 has made it look cheerful for the Holidays with herFOTD Holiday Look #1: Bright Blues and Purples!

Gouldylox tried a new BB Cream from 3LAB that contains some seriously high-tech skincare. Is $95 too much to pay for a BB Cream with stem cells? At the very least, it looks amazing. See for yourself.

The Pink Sith asks: What do dragons, lipstick, the Welsh and the Utah Saints all have in common? Find out when you read about Shiseido Perfect Rouge in RD514 Dragon.

Midnight Violets shares her favourite red lip products, perfect for Christmas - and the rest of the year too!

Christmas is almost here! Musicalhouses does a Christmas gold and green eye look, and a Christmas gold nail look to match!

It's officially Winter! Check out Hellcandy's favourite hand creams to see your mitts through the colder weather!

Will you wear mascara during the Zombie Apocalypse? Tracy at Beauty Reflections thinks that CoverGirl 24HR LashBlast is perfect!

Are you ready for the holidays? Anita shows you some festive nail ideas over at Pleasureflush!

Battle dry winter skin by entering Audrey Dao's Holiday Giveaway to win her favorite skin care products!

Prime Beauty is gifting one lucky reader her TOP holiday beauty pick, Tarte's Lip Service LipSurgence Collection. Enter now!

Is your skin holiday-ready? Over at theNotice, Rae is giving two winners a chance to win the Skin Tight Body Lotion of their choice. Don't miss this party-approved Prtty Peaushun review and giveaway!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sue Devitt Black Widow Mascara Review and Swatch

So about a month or so ago PR recently sent me the following Sue Devitt Black Widow Mascara to try out:

When I starting writing this post I went on the Sue Devitt website to read more about the product and it's no longer listed on the website. I have a feeling it is discontinued, and that is a good thing because this mascara is horrible. That probably makes this review useless, but in the slight chance it is available somewhere and someone is interested in it, I hope this review saves that one person from wasting their money.

The wand is a pretty good shape but the mascara formula is really poor.

The Holidays

In my last post I mentioned that I have been super busy. So, to fill you in here are a few pics of my holiday adventures from the past few weeks:

Baking chocolate shortbread cookies

Washington DC's Union Station - It has my favorite store Express in the station!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to Press Loose Pigments

Hello!!! Yes, it has been way too long since I have posted. Life has been crazy between work, holiday parties, holiday planning, family events, and trying to spend quality time with the hubby.

Ok, I admit, I also spent quite a few nights watching sappy Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel and Lifetime. What can I say? I love them! I love the holidays and I love romantic comedy movies, so it's the best of both worlds!

Anyhow, I recently did an experiment in pressing a loose pigment in to an empty shadow pan. I had heard about this being done and I wanted to try it for myself. I used regular rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol 70%), the pigment, an empty shadow pan (this was an old MAC shadow I finished so I cleaned out the pan), a spatula (a toothpick is a good substitute), and a paper towel on the surface.

Step 1: Pour a little bit of the pigment in to the shadow pan.

Step 2: Pour a small amount of the alcohol into the cap of the alcohol bottle, and then pour from the cap in to the shadow pan. Mix the pigment powder and the alcohol with the spatula.

Step 3: I accidentally poured too much alcohol in the pan so I ended up taking a small piece of paper towel and dipped the corner in to the pan to absorb some of the alcohol.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

November Favorites

My favorites during November revolved around the fact that winter is here and my skin is drier than the desert. I can finish a tube of moisturizer faster than I can finish a Starbucks holiday drink...and you know I love my gingerbread lattes (and caramel new fave).

1. Lush Sweet Lips - I use a plethora of face scrubs to exfoliate my skin, but when it comes to my lips I rely on this old fave. It makes my lips super soft and tastes like chocolate! I recently found out from a Lush rep that you can actually lick this stuff off your lips! It is all natural so it can be consumed....though I wouldn't just scoop it out and eat it.

2. Make Up For Ever HD Blush in shade 7 - Again, due to the dry winter air I am trying to use creamier products on my face. This MUFE cream blush blends easily in the skin, lasts all day, and doesn't clog or settle in my pores, and it looks very natural. I can build it up for intense color or layer a powder blush on top. My initial review and swatch are here.

Beauty Blog Link Love

The auctions are now open! Head over to this year's auctions to bid on everything from classic perfumes to the one-of-a-kind (and once in a lifetime) Ultimate Neiman Marcus Experience.

Polish Insomniac shows you the Muppet Glitters - her way!

Miss Beauty Nerd is smitten over Benefit's pretty little scents of Crescent Row. Can you blame her?

How do you feel about orange lip products… with a kick? Don't miss theNotice's love-it-or-hate-it LUSH Chilli Tingle Lip Tint review.

The Beauty Spot goes into outer space with a galaxy inspired look.

Looking for the perfect luxe gift for the beauty lover in your life? Well, Krasey Beauty has the scoop on the new holiday collection from Guerlain.

Addicted to Beauty is shocked by the cologne for cheating men - what's your Alibi?.

Ever wanted to try a bold red lip but were a bit shy? Prime Beauty has five gorgeous red lipsticks for scaredy cats!

At Lipstick Musings, see how a beautiful mistake led to an unexpected new love with the Dior 5 Couleurs Eye Shadow Palette in Rosy Nude!

At Eyelining Obsessions, the No7 Midnight Enchantment blush demonstrates why getting sucked in by pretty online pictures can sometime lead to buyers remorse.

The Pink Sith wonders if Sephora came up the with the Name Foiled Love before or aftre Kat von D's break up with Jesse James when she reviews the Kat von D for Sephora Foiled Love Lipstick in Adora.

Finally! A chart that describes how to apply eyeshadow for Asians! Bun Bun Makeup Tips shows us some incredible tips on where to apply eyeshadow on the Asian eye.

On My Funny Valentine, Jen swatches her new Inglot 10 pan eyeshadow palette and shows you how to depot the shadows with a strong magnet.

Jenn over at Spiced Beauty went crazy at Imats! Check out what she got.

Tracy at Beauty Reflections test out the new Tokidoki 24 Karat Skate Deck Palette.

Suffering from dry wintertime skin? Musicalhouses' Dr Organic Manuka Honey Gift Set giveaway is just the thing for you! Giveaway closes soon, so hurry and check it out!

Beauty Crazed wants you to prepare to get really naked! Enter to win nude palettes from Urban Decay, Smashbox, Stila, Sleek MakeUP, 100% Pure and Sephora!


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