Tuesday, February 28, 2012

DIY Lip Scrub!

Lush's Sweet Lips Lip Scrub has been in my monthly favorites a couple times in the past year, as I think it is a great way to slough off dry skin and smoothen and soften my lips.

I finished my pot recently and instead of shelling out $9 for another little tub, I headed in to my kitchen. Sweet Lips is basically oil, sugar, and cocoa flavoring....all things I have in my kitchen. I decided to skip the flavoring, but here is how I made my own do-it-yourself (DIY) lip scrub:

1. Pour olive oil into the palm of my hand:

2. Add some white sugar and mix:

3. Apply to lips and scrub a dub dub:

My DIY version was just as effective as the Lush scrub, and 100% natural. There are so many variations you can do:
  • Use coconut oil, almond oil, or any other oil of your preference
  • Store the scrub in a little tub and keep it ready for anytime use
  • Use brown sugar or salt for different sized granules
  • Add cocoa powder or another flavoring
My lips are as smooth as ever and I have a few more bucks to spend on a lip product to apply to those smooth lips. =) 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

MAC Must-Haves: Ricepaper Eyeshadow

Just about everyone in the blogging world has confessed their love for MAC Ricepaper, so I figured it's time for me to share why I think it is a must-have.

Mine is almost used up, an indication that I use this a LOT. The color is a peachy beige color with a frost finish. MAC describes this shade as a "peachy gold with shimmer," but on the skin it is not shimmery at all.

I use this mostly as a highlight and inner corner shadow. On light-medium skin tones this also works as a lid shadow, as I am wearing it here:

This reason this is such a popular shade is that it just works. The peachiness allows the color to blend in with the skin and is not look stark like a lot of white-based shadows. This is a must-have for all skin tones and is one of my everyday staples. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Classic Cheap Thrills That Work! Rosebud Salve Review and Swatch

I've been talking about dry skin remedies a lot lately, but I can't help it...I'm obsessed with trying to cure my dry, cracked hands! One product I keep in my purse at all times is the classic Smith's Rosebud Salve:

This is one of those all-in-one miracle salves that will cure just about anything. I use it mainly on my lips and my knucles.

The salve itself is pink in the tin that goes on clear. It smells of sweet roses, but it is not very strong and it does fade quickly. It is non-sticky, but since it is a balm it is thick and does take a couple minutes to dry down. The look is slightly glossy, but not super shiny. Rosebud Salve is very moisturizing and really does cure dry skin quickly. 

Swatch of Rosebud Salve

I love Rosebud Salve, and at $6 for 0.8oz, you can't beat the price for a salve that cures just about anything. There are more fragrances available, such as Strawberry and Minted Rose, but I prefer the original rose version. I think you can find this at some drugstores but I pick mine up from Sephora. If nothing else, I think this is especially great for travel, since it is not liquid, and it works in a pinch to moisturize lips, hands, and you can even lightly dab it on your face if you suffer from extreme dry skin while in the air. The scent is also subtle enough that it won't bother your fellow travelers. =)

Do you use Rosebud Salve? 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just Finished

I finished a few products in the last few days so I want to share with you my thoughts.

1. Bath and Body Works Body Butter in P.S. I Love You - I picked this up in one of the semi-annual sales and I think it is an older formula of body butter and a discontinued fragrance since I can't find it on the website anymore. The body butter itself is extremely thick...so much so that it was hard to spread on the skin so I ended up using a lot of it each application. It also took a couple minutes to absorb in the skin, although that is the case with most body butters. I remember B&BW re-vamping the body butter formula last-year so I think it has improved, but I haven't tried the new one. On the other hand, this fragrance was very lovely! It is a mix of rose and amber, but not overwhelming. I really hope they bring this scent back!


2. Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser - I received this as a sample and it is good, but nothing amazing. The exfoliating beads are very small, and the cleanser didn't remove all my makeup, so I didn't feel like I was getting a good clean or a good scrub. This may be a good exfoliant for sensitive skin, but it didn't do anything for me. 

3. Origins Starting Over Age-Erasing Moisturizer with Mimosa - This is one of the brand's best-selling anti-aging moisturizers, but I didn't find any improvement in my skin. When I went on my Bahamas cruise last month I wanted a small jar of moisturizer and I had this in my stash and it was only a 1 oz. jar so I decided to use it up.  This has a bit of a citrus scent, which is nice and refreshing, but most anti-aging cremes are very moisturizing and this definitely was not moisturizing enough for my dry winter skin. This is supposed to be effective for all skin types but based on my experience it may be better for oily-normal skin types. I didn't see any improvement in my fine lines, in brightness, or any other aspect. I also wish this had SPF. I really like Origins products (I LOVE GinZing Eye Cream), so I am tempted to try out the other lines of moisturizer and recommendations are appreciated.

4. The Body Shop Hemp Hand Cream - This is a nice hand cream, but I HATE the packaging. I despise the foil-type tubes because they are rigid and get holes very easily. The cream is nice, but after trying the Gud by Burts Bees Natural Hand Creme, I am glad this is finished because the Gud one is sooo much better at moisturizing my hands. 

5. MAC Eye Brows in Lingering - The Eye Brows pencils are twist up, thin, brow pencils that make it easy to draw or fill-in brows. I really enjoy the ease of this pencil, but it gets used up pretty quickly, so now I prefer using a brow powder or shadow and an angled brush. If I was made of money I would definitely re-purchase this. 

Have you tried any of these? What are your thoughts?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MAC Shop Cook Collection - Haul and Look

Hey Dolls! I haven't been interested in the recent MAC collections, but I did pick up a couple things from the recent Shop Cook collection: Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad and Added Goodness Fluidline Eye Liner.

L-R: Call Me Bubbles, Fresh Daily, Full of Flavour, Brash shadows; Added Goodness liner

The shadows are super pigmented and I especially love Brash, which is a veluxe pearl texture (my favorite). These shades are perfect for spring and summer. I have so many Indian outfits in these shades so I am excited to wear them with my sarees and lehengas...perhaps even a look like the following:

In this look I am wearing Call Me Bubbles and Fresh Daily on the lid, with a mix of Brash and Bronze (not from the quad) in the crease. I used a similar gradient on the lower lashline. I lined the top lid with Added Goodness Fluidline and used Black Funk pencil on my waterline.

What do you think? Did you pick up anything from the Shop Cook collection?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

This isn't just Good, it's Amazing! Gud by Burts Bees Body Care

By now you all know that I live in the arctic. Ok, well, it's Philadelphia, but for a girl who grew up in Southern California it feels like the arctic. With winter comes dry skin, and I since I have been using up on average one tub/bottle of creme a month, I am always searching for affordable, fragranced body cremes that provide a high level of moisture. 

I think I have met my new moisturizer love: Gud by Burts Bees Natural Body Care:

Gud is a new line that was introduced last month and all the products are natural, meaning they contain no parabens, no phthalates, and no petrochemicals. These products are also not tested on animals. I recently tried out 4 of the products: Body Lotion,  Body Butter, Hand Cream, and Body Spray.

The Body Lotion ($7 for 8oz) is by far my favorite of the bunch. It is extremely fast-absoring, so much so that after I apply on my body I don't have to wait at all before getting dressed. My favorite thing is how moisturizing it is! This lotion spreads easily, so you don't end up using a whole ton, and leaves my skin feeling like silk! It leaves my skin feeling soooo soft! Using this reminds me of that feeling you get when you shave/wax your legs and then wear pants afterwards...your legs feel so soft under the fabric. I tried this in the Orange Petalooza scent, a blood orange and floral fragrance, which is very citrusy. I really like it because it is very refreshing and awakening to use in the morning after my shower. I could still smell this on my skin 7 hours after application, but only when I put my nose to my skin. The fragrance is not so strong that it would conflict with a perfume. This is definitely a keeper! 

The Hand Cream ($8 for 3oz) was my second favorite product. I am a germophobe and obsessive-compulsive hand washer. That combined with winter means my hands and knuckles are in bad shape. The first time I used this creme was at bedtime and the next morning my hands looked like they belonged to someone else...they looked normal, not dry! This creme is fast-absorbing, non-greasy, and still very effective at adding and locking in moisture. I have been using a hand creme from a very well known body shop (oops, did that just give it away?) and this far surpasses that one. This fragrance, Floral Cherrynova, is a cherry blossom and almond milk scent, and is my favorite of all 4 scents. I love cherry blossom and this is floral, but not overwhelmingly so. 

The Body Butter ($12 for 6oz) was nice, but nothing spectacular. It is not as thick as other body butters, but it is still somewhat thick and slightly greasy. I have to wait a couple minutes after applying this before I can get dressed. It did moisturize very well, but I expect nothing less from a body butter. I also think that this would be better priced at $10. This scent Pearanormal Activity is a mixture of pear and acai berry, and I did not like this scent at all. I am not big on pear and the combo of acai berry was not pleasant to me.

Finally, I tried the Body Mist ($6 for 3oz). This is a nice, light mist that would be a great complement to any of the moisturizers. I really like vanilla so this scent Vanilla Flame, a rice milk and vanilla scent, was perfect for me. It lasted about 6 hours on me, which I think is pretty good. 

Overall, I was very impressed with the Gud line and will definitely repurchase the Body Lotion and Hand Cream. I may even try out the body wash and shampoo and conditioner. This line is currently available online at http://www.gudhappens.com, but can also be purchased in-store at Walgreens, Target, and ULTA. The fragrance Pearanormal Activity is available only at Target. Duane Reade should be getting them in the spring. I recommend buying in-store for the first time because the scents are very different and since scent is a very personal thing, it is better to try before you buy. Also, if you go to the website there is even a $1 off coupon!

Disclaimer: The products in this post were provided by PR for consideration. As always, the thoughts/reviews in this post reflect my honest opinion. 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Beauty Blog Link Love

Happy weekend all! Here are some fun reads while you rest and relax (hopefully)!

Chanel La Ravissante Rouge Allure Velvet is the little glimpse of summer we've been waiting for. See it in action on My Funny Valentine.

The Pink Sith asks: Did you know that Nordstrom Rack has Stila makeup palettes? Well now you know, and knowing is half the battle.

At theNotice, Rae solves the Great Beauty Blogger Problem: taking photos after the sun's gone down. Check out her classic smokey eye to see the proof for yourself.

At Love Lust & Fairy Dust, Jude warns us to never underestimate the power of a Tom Ford Lipstick. Check out her cautionary tale with a very happy ending.

Beauty woo me thinks red hair is like Marmite.

Curious about Kevyn Aucoin's makeup line? Check out Krasey Beauty's swatches and review of some key pieces!

Want soft lips? Check out Jenn from Spiced Beauty's L'Oreal Le Balm in Rose Elixir review.

Want to know how to create beautiful side swept curls? Madame B Fatale shows you how!

We all need a little sunshine in a bottle to brighten up dreary winter skin. Miss Beauty Nerd is painting herself with Benefit's new Sun Beam!

Mariella at Musing on Beauty experiments with Makeup Geek Eyeshadows and creates a quad with her favorites.

At Lipstick Musings, Shannon is shocked to find out there actually IS great organic skin care out there! She's starting with Hollybeth's Rose Geranium Facial Moisturizer. Come see what the fuss is about!

Love Chocolate and The Body Shop? Then don't miss out the latest/greatest The Body Shop Chocomania Collection.

Phyrra gets nekkid with the new Let's Get Nekkid collection from Cult Nails.

Prime Beauty is looking to get in shape and what better fitness coaches than Hans and Franz! Her hair needs some work too and UNITE Haircare really PUMPS HER UP!

Jellyminx shares her top MAC eyeshadow picks. Do you share any of her favourites?

Check out Tracy at Beauty Reflections's new bronzer crush, Edward Bess Ultra Luminous Bronzer in Daydream.

Learn how to create the perfect Valentine's Day look with a subtle, shimmery purple Valentine's Day Makeup Tutorial at Handmade Reviews.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Gloss vs. MAC Dazzleglass

Every now and then I like a sparkling lip gloss, and two of my faves are the Make Up For Ever Lab Shine Lip Glosses Diamond Collection and the MAC Dazzleglasses.

The MUFE Lab Shine formula has 3 different formulas, the Diamond Collection being the sheer, sparkly one. I compared the shade D16 (shimmering beige) to the MAC Dazzleglass in Baby Sparks.

Both glosses have a brush applicator (which I am not fond of because the bristles tend to splay after some use), with the MAC one being a tad bit flonger.

MUFE Lab Shine in D16 (shimmering beige)

MAC Dazzleglass in Baby Sparks

L-R swatches in natural light: Lab Shine in D16, Dazzleglass in Baby Sparks

L-R swatches with flash: Lab Shine in D16, Dazzleglass in Baby Sparks

Lab Shine in D16 on lips

Dazzleglass in Baby Sparks on lips

MUFE's Lab Shine glosses are supposed to have a slight apricot fragrance, but I thought it was quite strong and very fruity. The Dazzleglasses have a slight vanilla fragrance that all MAC lip products have, and is much more subtle than the MUFE glosses. The Dazzleglass is also stickier than the MUFE one so it does last a bit longer on me. Overall, both glosses are very similar in shimmer and are sheer in color. The MUFE gloss contains 0.09oz and is $18 which is a better value than the MAC Dazzleglass, which is 0.06 oz and is $19.50. I don't wear sparkly glosses all the time so I don't care too much that the MAC one has less quantity, as they have quite a good shade selection and are more readily available.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

January 2012 Favorites

Yes, I know I am not the first to say this, but can you believe January is already over? Where does the time go?

Anyhoo, here are the products I kept reaching for in January:

1. Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour Duo in Dusk/Chocolate - These two shades work so well together making it easy to create a contoured eye. Both shadows are smooth, easy to blend, long lasting over primer, and very pigmented. I have really been loving Laura Mercier's color products lately and will be featuring more of my fave products in the coming weeks.

Swatch of Laura Mercier Luster Eye Colour Duo in Dusk/Chocolate

2. MAC Mineralize Blush in Early Morning - This is from the Naturally collection and although I normally don't go for mineralize blushes, this one is amazing. It is extremely pigmented so I use a light hand and a skunk brush (I prefer MAC's 188) so that I can have good control of how much color I apply. I think this is gorgeous on all skin tones, but due to pigmentation, it is best suited for medium-dark skin tones. All 3 blushes from the Naturally collection are super smooth, finely milled, and have a natural sheen to them that is not sparkly or matte. Ever since I got this one I have been using it almost everyday.

Swatch of MAC Mineralize Blush in Early Morning

3. Hana Shine Shield Serum - I originally reviewed this here, and I liked it, but I have really been loving it the past few months. After washing my hair I apply a few drops of Moroccan Oil to damp hair, then blowdry and flatiron. Due to the winter static and dry weather, I have been having a lot of flyaways so after straightening my hair I rub a drop or two of this serum between my palms and smooth it over the top of my head. It works really well to control the flyaways, but it also adds softness and shine without adding any greasiness. Don't you love re-discovering good products you already have?

4. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Corrupt - I confessed my love for this here and honestly, I haven't been using any other liners. This is darker than basic brown, but not as harsh as black, and it just works. I use it day and night and with all sorts of shadow combinations (or with no shadow). This pencil is just amazing and judging by how much I use and sharpen this, I better find another pencil just like it soon, cuz this is going to run out and it is not permanent....le sigh.

Swatch of Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Corrupt 

What products have you been loving?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Do You Brush On Your Brows? If So, Check Out Maybelline Ultra Brow Brush-On Color (Swatch and Review)

I found the Maybelline Ultra Brow Brush-On Color in my makeup stash, and I decided to try it out. Now, I should warn you, I rarely do my brows. I grew up having thick, bushy, pluck-and-the-hair-grows-back-5-min-later brows, so the idea of adding more color to my brows gives me the heeby-jeebies. However, over the years as I have grown in my makeup knowledge (and discovered the beauty of threading), I have learned that a strong, defined brow creates a frame for the eyes and can really impact a person's face. 

The Ultra Brow Brush-On comes in two colors: light brown and dark brown. The dark brown works well for me.

Although I never use the applicators that come with a product, I really like this one because it is wide, allowing me to finish the brows super quickly. 

Maybelline Ultra Brow Brush-On Color in Dark Brown

Here is what my brows look like naturally. They are not perfectly shaped, as I haven't had them professionally done in a long time, I thread them myself every couple weeks.

Here are my brows filled in with the Brush-On Color in Dark Brown

This brow powder averages around $6, which isn't bad, especially since there is so much product in the pan (0.1 oz). This is long lasting and I don't find that I need to touch up, and it doesn't rub off or bleed. That being said, I have used regular brown shadows to fill in my brows and I don't find that this is much different. It is available in most drug stores, most of which constantly have sales, so this is an inexpensive brow solutions. My only suggestion to Maybelline would be to expand the shade range.

Do you fill-in your brows? What product do you use?


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