Thursday, May 31, 2012

NEW Mighty Shiny Lip Gels and Luminous Creme Blushes from Youngblood Cosmetics!


Youngblood cosmetics has some exciting products lined up for the Summer. Launching June 1st will be 2 colorful additions to their line of Luminous Creme Blush, as well as 7 gorgeous Mighty Shiny Lip Gels. I had the opportunity to try out a few of the new shades before they were released, and.. oh my goodness. Let's start off with the blushes:
Luminous Creme Blushes- YBSkin.com

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Skittles! Featuring The New Black Runway Collection

The challenge for this week's Artsy Wednesday nail art post was to do a "Skittles" manicure. That is, a manicure where each nail is a different color. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try out the  Runway Collection from The New Black. This set of 8 colors gave me plenty of choices for a rainbow manicure.

I used the red, orange, yellow, green and periwinkle colors to create the manicure: 
Of course, I can't have a "plain" manicure, so I used the periwinkle to create a little heart as an accent on my ring finger. This week's manicure is simple, but really cute and fun for summer. I really love the Runway Collection, there are so many manicure possibilities all in one convenient little set. The quality of the polishes is great, too. All of the colors were opaque, consistent, and beautiful in two coats. I was really pleased with the dry time on them as well. You can find the Runway set as well as other beautiful color-coordinated collections from The New Black at Sephora.com .
Don't forget to check out the colorful creations of the other ladies participating in Artsy Wednesday! 

Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: the products mentioned were provided to me be the manufacturer or their PR. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion :o)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dead Sea Premier Milk Cleanser

I have very fickle skin. It is generally very dry, but I still get blackheads and have occasional, random breakouts despite the fact that I haven't been a teenager for the better part of a decade. It is hard for me to find a product that addresses all of my skin concerns. I'm happy to say that I found such a product in Dead Sea Premier's Milk Cleanser.
Premierdeadsea.com
I was a little hesitant after reading the instructions- this is a waterless cleanser! You spread it on your face and then wipe it off with cotton balls or tissue. This seemed a little foreign to me, but I put my hesitations aside and gave it a shot, and I am so happy I did. All of the blackheads on my nose and the rest of my face were totally gone after using this for just two days. It leaves my skin feeling really supple and moisturized, but surprisingly residue-free. It really comes off completely with a few gentle swipes of a cotton ball. Since I started using it each night a few weeks ago, my skin has gotten so much clearer. It is honestly the best my skin has looked since before I was a teenager, and I have completely ditched the foundation.. because I have nothing to hide! No blemishes or dry patches..This is a real boon now that its almost Summertime! A little dusting of translucent powder just for shine control and I'm ready to go in the morning. This milk cleanser also removes all traces of makeup.. mascara, eyeliner, you name it. I'm really happy with this product. If you have fickle, sensitive, dry skin like mine I really encourage you to try it. You can find it at www.premierdeadsea.com .
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica
P.S- You can "Like" Dead Sea Premier on Facebook and hit the "welcome" tab for a 25% off coupon! https://www.facebook.com/PremierDeadSeaUSA

Disclosure: This product was provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Zelo Professional Home Keratin System

Recently I had the opportunity to try out the Zelo Keratin Straightening kit. This kit is meant to provide an affordable, at-home alternative to salon Keratin treatments. I have A LOT of hair, so the promise of smoother, less-frizzy hair is very attractive to me. That being said, I've always been hesitant to do a keratin treatment for two reasons. First of all, the cost of a salon keratin treatment is a bit prohibitive, around 250+ dollars depending on the length of your hair (and like I said, I have a lot!). Also, I've always been concerned with the formaldehyde content in keratin treatments.. I don't want that stuff on my head!
Zelo professional hair care has come up with a product that addresses my two concerns. First of all, it is affordable. At 50 dollars for one straightening kit,  the cost is a fraction of what you'd pay for a salon service. If you are willing to put in a little elbow grease and do it yourself (or beg a friend) you can get results comparable to what you'd get at a salon for a lot less money. Also, it is totally formaldehyde-free! This is the kit:
zelocare.com

It includes a clarifying cleanser and an action keratin treatment. The process is easy- first, you wash your hair with the clarifying cleanser. This removes all buildup and impurities and makes a nice "clean slate" for the keratin to adhere to. Next, you dry your hair a little bit. While it is still somewhat damp you spray the keratin treatment into your hair, combing through to ensure that the hair is coated from root to tip. At this point, you blow dry your hair completely. Lastly, straightening your hair with a flat iron seals in the product. It is a simple procedure, and for ladies who blow dry and flat iron their hair on a regular basis anyway, throwing a little keratin in there should be no trouble at all. The benefit of the treatment is that it leaves your hair smoother, silkier, and straighter for up to 12 weeks.
Zelo also offers a few products to complement and prolong the keratin treatment- salt and sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner as well as Velvet Hair Gloss.. an amazing product that smoothes your hair and adds shine without making it heavy or greasy.
zelocare.com
Below is my hair before and after treatment. On the left is my hair before treatment, air-dried with no product. On the right is my hair after treatment, straightened with an Olez (Zelo's professional, salon-only counterpart) iron and smoothed with Zelo Velvet Hair Gloss.

As a side note, the Olez Advanced flat iron is the hands down the best iron I've ever used. There was no need to pass over the same piece of hair over and over again, but it didn't get too hot and fry my hair either. LOVE IT!
olezadvanced.com

But I digress- back to the keratin treatment! After treatment, my hair was far less frizzy than usual. What I also like about this treatment is that there is no waiting time in regards to when you can wash your hair. When I did wash my hair, the curl returned. But the frizz did not! I've also noticed that my hair takes less time to dry and when I do iron it, it stays straight much better than it used to. Before, when I would flat iron my hair even an upsurge in humidity would return it to its curly, frizzy state. I actually got caught in the rain for a few minutes the other day and my hair actually STAYED STRAIGHT! That never happens!
Now when I wear my hair curly it is more manageable and far less frizzy. I am really happy with this treatment. I've been using the Zelo Shampoo and Conditioner to complement it and my hair is still going strong and frizz-free after several weeks. I love the convenience (and price!) of the at-home application, as well. All in all, between the price, convenience and efficacy.. Zelo gets an A+ !
You can find their products at www.zelocare.com 
Have you ever had a salon keratin treatment? Would you try it at home?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: The products mentioned were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion :o)

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekend Wishlist!

I do a lot of online shopping.. well, online "window" shopping! There are so many amazing shops online these days.. I don't mean big stores like Amazon, either. There are niche boutiques online offering gorgeous products from independent designers, artists, and craftspeople. I love browsing through all these beautiful wares on rainy afternoons. I thought it would be fun to share with you some special shops and items I've found lately during my virtual shopping adventures!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Guest Post on DIY Polish!

Hi Everyone!
My friend Heidi over at DIY Polish has been feeling a little under the weather, so I did a guest blog post for her. It is a swatch/review of 365 Days of Color Polish's Sugar High. This polish is STUNNING! Go check out my review on Heidi's site and let me know what you think :)

http://diypolish.com/2012/05/guest-post-beauty-gnome.html

Thanks so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 2012 Gossip Girl Birchbox

Time for this month's Birchbox! This month, the theme of the box was Gossip Girl. For the life of me I can't see the tie-in! I really don't get what any of these products have to do with the show. I mean, those girls look like they use a lot of beauty products.. and these are beauty products.. So...There's a connection? Thats the best I can do. Irrelevant theme aside, lets take a look at the box!
These were the products included:
1 oz. Ojon Restorative Conditioner
0.5 oz Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream
0.038 oz Flor y Canto Perfume by Arquiste
0.17 oz (Full Size) Fusion Beauty LipFusion Balm
Extra: XOXO Notecard

Allow me to get this out of the way: The notecard was a stupid "Extra".. its not even a folded card, its pretty much a rectangle of card stock that says "XOXO", and regardless of how nice it is or isn't, it has no place in a Birchbox. I don't know what it is doing in a box that is supposed to be comprised of beauty samples..
Now let's talk about the products:
Ojon Conditioner: To me, a deluxe sized sample can be used 3-4 times, so you can get a good feel for the product. With my long hair, this 1oz sample isn't even going to survive one shower. I'm a little bit displeased with the size of this sample.
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream: I'm all about hand and nail care, so I'm looking forward to trying this. After briefly sampling it, I can tell you that it absorbs quite fast and has a pleasant, not overbearing fragrance.
LipFusion Balm: Its always nice to get a full sized product, and another lip balm is always useful. Nice going with this one, BBox!
Arquiste Flor y Canto Perfume: This unassuming little vial came with one of the most ostentatious fragrance descriptions I've ever seen! "August 1400, Tenochtitlan, Mexico- On the most fragrant festival in the Aztec calendar, the rhythm of drums palpitates as a wealth of flowers is offered on temple altars. Billowing clouds of Copal act as a backdrop to the intoxicating breath of Tuberose, Magnolia, Plumeria and the intensely yellow aroma of the sacred Marigold, cempoalxochitl". I guess fragrance descriptions are often a little too fancy for their own good, but this one made me chuckle. The fragrance itself is quite heavy, and although gardenia isn't listed in the notes, to me it is a dead ringer for Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion. I'm not cheap when it comes to perfume, but at $165.00 for the 55ml full size bottle, this scent is a little too rich for my blood. I guess the Gossip Girls can afford it? AH-HA! I have found the tie in! 

This month's box gets a B- . The full size lipbalm really saved the day on this one!
What do you think of this month's Birchbox?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this subscription myself



Farmhouse Fresh Splendid Dirt Mud Mask

I love finding a good face mask. Face masks are a fun, easy way to take a break and do something "spa-like" at home.. not to mention what they do for your skin! I have an amazing mask for you today, Splendid Dirt by Farmhouse Fresh. This mask is jam packed with natural ingredients that really clear out your pores: natural clay, pumpkin, and yogurt. Just don't answer your door while you have the mask on like I did.. You'll scare the mailman.
In a pinch, this mask doubles as an amazing Snooki halloween costume

I was amazed at how well this mask cleaned out my pores. After using it, they were utterly clean and noticeably tightened. It completely annihilated any blackheads on my nose, too. This mask does tingle while you are wearing it, no doubt due to the pumpkin enzymes and natural clay deep-cleaning your pores. It did leave a little redness on my skin after washing it off. This didn't hurt, and subsided very quickly, but its something to keep in mind if you are planning on running out of the house immediately after washing off this mask!
Oh, and just one more thing... the mask smells exactly like pumpkin pie. Amazing!  You can find it at farmhousefreshgoods.com
What is your favorite at-home spa treatment?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This product was sent to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Laqa & Co. Nail Polish Pen in "Pimpin"

I have a pretty cool product to show you today, a nail polish pen from Laqa & Co...Pimpin' is an awesome bright pink shade, but what makes it unique is the delivery.. a convenient, portable nail polish pen! You click the pen one or two times for each nail, paint, and go! I love how you can throw it in your purse for touch-ups or travel. The pen takes a little getting used to if you normally paint your nails from a bottle, but it isn't a big deal- and worth it to learn!
What I really love about the company is that each polish shade features artwork from an up-and-coming young artist on its packaging. Coming from a Fine Arts background I really appreciate when companies afford opportunities like this to young artists. It is a great idea and adds to Laqa's uniqueness.
Well, on to the color!
Beautiful, perfect-for-summer hot coral-leaning pink. I love the quirky leaflet, too! Its little details like this that make a company special and memorable to me. The formula was nice, shown is two coats.
I look forward to snagging more of these pens.. they are super convenient and the boxes are oh-so-collectible!
You can find them at  http://www.laqaandco.com/
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: this product was provided to me by the company or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion :o)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Celebrity-inspired manicure

This week's Artsy Wednesday challenge was to create a manicure inspired by a celebrity. I chose one of the most colorful celebrities ever.. Prince!
image source: threadbombing.com
Using Milani White on the Spot, Deborah Lippmann Private Dancer, Sinful Colors Dream On as well as my trusty Migi nail art pens I created this Prince-themed manicure. As you can see it is rife with Prince references.. purple rain, the unpronounceable symbol, and if you'll look at my pinky finger- This is what it looks like.. when doves cry.


I'm a big Prince fan. I love 80's music and Prince really knows how to bring the drama. 
Be sure to check out the celebrity-inspired manicures from the other ladies participating in Artsy Wednesday: 



Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased all products mentioned myself :o) 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Hippity Hop by Pam's Girly Bits

I posted about a lovely indie polish yesterday and it got a really great response! I know a lot of you love to see these unique and gorgeous polishes..  So here is another one for you! Here I have Hippity Hop by Pam's Girl Bits, shown atop New York Color Lavender Cupcake:



This is a BEAUTIFUL glitter topcoat.. what sets it apart from others is the gorgeous purple/blue shimmer. It really transforms the color you are wearing underneath! I also love the pastel glitter in this polish.. very jewel-like. Shown is two coats of Hippity Hop. It is very delicate and feminine.. It would also look lovely over a blue or pink polish. I really can't get enough of these indie glitter topcoats! You can find this and other amazing polishes at Llarowe ..
What are your favorite indie polishes?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased all mentioned products myself.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Indie Polish Spotlight! All That Glitters Purple Haze

I have another beautiful indie polish for you today.. Purple Haze from All that Glitters. Shown here over Barielle Passion Pirouette, Purple Haze is a gorgeous melange of purple, black, silver, and holographic glitter of various shapes and sizes.
I absolutely love glitter topcoats, and this one is amazing!! I love the density of it.. shown is two coats over the Barielle. It is jam-packed with glitter, but it isn't too thick or goopy. Also, I like the fact that the glitter doesn't sink to the bottom of the bottle.. the various shapes and sizes are distributed evenly. That means I don't have to fish around with the brush to get more of a certain shape on my nail. Great formula on this lovely polish!
You can check out this and lots of other beauties on the All That Glitters Etsy shop.
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this product myself for review :o)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Influenster Spring Beauty Vox Box

Have you ever heard of Influenster? It is a pretty cool site with an interesting concept.. You fill out surveys about yourself and your lifestyle to earn badges. These badges (with topics like Beauty, Pets, Moms, Etc) can qualify you to receive "VoxBoxes", which are boxes filled with complimentary products for you to try. The more active you are in social media the better chance you have of getting a box, as the company wants people to talk about the products they receive and generate some word-of-mouth.
Happily, I was recently selected to receive my first VoxBox! Unsurprisingly, I qualified for the "Spring Beauty" edition... maybe they've read the blog! :)
My VoxBox arrived the other day, and here is what was inside:
The box included:
Dr. Scholls for Her Ball of Foot Insoles
Bath and Body Works Moonlit Path Fragrance
ChapStick Lip Shield 365
Sally Hansen Salon Effects Nail Polish Strips
Sheer Cover Concealer Duo
Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Wash
Blueberry SoyJoy Bar

It was a pretty cool mix of stuff, all full sizes which was nice. The Aveeno bottle was a little on the small side, but definitely bigger than a sample. I've been using the ChapStick for a few days now, and I love the fragrance they sent, so I know I'll be getting lots of use out of these products. I'm not quite sure why the SoyJoy bar was included in the beauty-themed box, however...
You can find out more about Influenster at their site, Influenster.com .. maybe you'll qualify for the next box!
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This box was provided to me as part of the Influenster program

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Indie Polish Spotlight: 365 Days of Color Polish in Buttafinga!

I have a really fun polish for you today! My friend and fellow blogger (and Persian Princess) Sunny of 365 Days of Color has channelled her polish expertise into her own line of gorgeous lacquers. Her first collection was amazing, and she has rolled right into collection #2- The Candy Shoppe Collection!
This polish, Buttafinga, is a part of that collection. If you really put on the ol' thinking cap you may be able to guess what candy bar this was inspired by.

This polish is GORGEOUS! A mix of tiny, coppery-brown glitter and larger black square glitter. It looks beautiful over darker colors as well as white.. I put it over orange on the nail wheel to really give it that "buttafinga" look, but I absolutely love it over a dark brown polish as shown on my hand.  What I also love is how dense the glitter is! I only used one coat of Buttafinga in all of the swatches shown! Sunny is making some really creative, unique polishes and this one is no exception. She was kind enough to send me a mini bottle to review, but it looks like I'm going to have to spring for the full size on her shop.. I love it! All the fun of a candy bar with more glitter and less calories.
Be sure to check out her blog as well as her shop so you can see all the other lovelies she has created..
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This polish was sent to me for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion!

Friday, May 18, 2012

May 2012 MyGlam Glambag

Oh MyGlam. We need to talk.
A subscription with you is like an emotional roller coaster.
As you may recall from previous GlamBag reviews, I have been pretty disappointed with the MyGlam service so far. I joined in January, and each bag since then has been average at best.. really nothing that knocked my socks off. Sometimes they are just downright dreadful. Last month gave me hope, however. The bag was pretty good.. it included an Urban Decay Eyeliner and a full size Dermstore Lip quench among other things. So, being the optimistic girl that I am, I was looking forward to this month's GlamBag.
Oh, the naivetĂ©.
First of all, the bag itself was broken.. The zipper is completely screwed up and doesn't zip at all. Now, whoever packed this put everything in the bag, went to zip it, and either broke the zipper or saw that it was broken. Yet they still threw it in a box and sent it to me.. I really dislike this inattention to detail and lack of care.
You may remember from my previous reviews that the March MyGlam bag smelled TERRIBLE, like gross toxic superglue or something. Happily, last month's bag was free of that fragrance. I am sad to report that its back! As soon as I opened the box I was overwhelmed by the nasty, "chemically", plastic smell. That scent has completely pervaded all the other items in the box.
Also included was a dark copper lipstick. Not only will this shade never work on me, I don't think it will work on a lot of people. I think when a subscription service sends out something like a lipstick, it should be in a pretty universally-flattering color. This totally off trend, out-of-season, super dark metallic copper seemed like a choice that was again, quite thoughtless. It is totally useless to me. There is also a carded vial of Philosophy "Love Sweet Love" fragrance. While I don't think this qualifies as a "Deluxe Sample", I have been wanting to try out this perfume so from a personal standpoint MyGlam gets a pass. There is also a set of nail stickers, as well as two MyGlam branded brushes. Here is my issue with the brushes: they are of average quality, and nice I guess, but I don't think they should be counted towards the 4-5 beauty samples we are promised. If they are included at all, they should be an extra. I have brushes, I don't need any more.. when I signed up for MyGlam it was under the expectation that I would be receiving beauty products to try and evaluate- Not one-off, MyGlam-branded bag fillers.
Let's just say this bag did not wow me. I know its ten dollars a month- but with companies like Birchbox and Beauty Army frequently knocking it out of the park at a similar price point, I expect more.
To be honest I have only kept the subscription to review it for you, my readers. That and the crippling paranoia that as soon as I cancel, the next month's box will be curated by Oprah and include a free car or something.
Wishful thinking.
Do you get MyGlam or another beauty subscription service? What do you think?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this subscription myself for review.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kara's Way - An Eco-Friendly Beauty Sample Service!

Kara's Way is a new beauty sample subscription service that just sent out their first boxes this month. There are a lot of these services popping up lately, but this one has a great twist- Each month you are sent 5-10 *eco-friendly* deluxe beauty samples. I think this really sets Kara's Way apart. Their mission is to help people sift through the many eco-friendly beauty options that are becoming available and help enable beauty lovers to live a greener lifestyle. Plus, while the other services I subscribe to offer 4-6 samples a month, this one boasts 5-10! I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to review the first box, and it did not disappoint!
First of all, I love the aesthetics here. The box came with a personalized note tied with a raffia ribbon and a Kara's Way tag. Here is what is really special- the tag is embedded with wildflower seeds! You can put the tag under a little bit of dirt, add some water and sun and watch the flowers grow..
As you can see, there were a ton of products included.
Here is what I got:
La Fresh Oil-Free Face Cleansing Wipe
La Fresh Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover Wipe
Sample of Native Touch Blue Corn Sugar Scrub
Sample of Native Touch Rooting Bear Rub
Sample of Native Touch Soap (The little brochure that came with the Nature's Touch samples is also embedded with wildflower seeds!)
1oz Beyond Coastal SPF 15 Sunscreen
2oz Thayer's Natural Remedies Cucumber Witch Hazel
0.27oz Naturelle D'Argan Pure Argan Elixir
Honeybee Gardens Valentine Water-Based Nail Enamel
Keeki Organic Lip Shimmer

Wow! As you can see, there is a lot of stuff in this box! Its a nice mix of full size and deluxe sample sized products. No teensy-tiny samples, which I really like. All of the products are either vegan, all natural, or organic. They are all cruelty-free, which as you may know is very important to me.
I hope Kara's Way continues to produce sample boxes like this one, because it is really amazing. There was a lot of attention to detail here, there is a great mix of cosmetics, skin care, body care, and hair care. I really loved this box, and I am so looking forward to the next one.
Great job and congratulations on the first box, Kara's Way! Keep up the good work!
You can find out more at karasway.com
Thanks so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This box was provided to me for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Week in Instagram


I have been having a lot of fun with Instagram since it became available for Android phones a few weeks ago. Its a great way to snap quick but really attractive photos of what you're up to!
It's fun to take pictures with it each day, then when you look back at the photos later it becomes a sort of visual diary. I thought I'd share with you some of the images I've taken using Instagram over the past week or so.

Artsy Wednesday: Newspaper Nails

I've been part of the Artsy Wednesday group for several weeks now- each week we have a theme to create a manicure around. While so far the theme has been an idea for us to interpret, this time the subject is a technique- Newspaper nails. Are you familiar with the process? Basically, you take a piece of newspaper and dip it in rubbing alcohol. You then put this on your nail and allow the print to transfer from the paper onto your polished nail.
My manicure is very basic this week- I know some of the other ladies participating have done amazing manicures incorporating this technique, but since I have never done a manicure using this method before I wanted to keep it very pure and simple!
I painted my nails using Milani White on The Spot, and when that was completely dry I began the transfer process. I found that it was much easier to position a dry piece of newspaper over my nail, and then using a cotton ball apply a bit of rubbing alcohol to that until the ink transfered. If I wet the paper first and then put it on my nail, it was more difficult to position and more prone to smudging.
It was a little bit of trial and error, but once I got the technique down I was able to create a neat, crisp manicure that I really like!
I look forward to trying this technique again and moving beyond the "basic", maybe incorporating different colors, or applying the print over a water marble! I wonder if I could transfer images from the comics page?
Be sure to check out the creations of the other ladies participating in Artsy Wednesday!

Maria's Nail Art
Polished Genius
Nails by Ms. Lizard
Swaafie
Unnaked Nails
Nail & Polish

Have you ever tried newspaper nails? What is your favorite nail art technique?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased all products mentioned myself :o)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May Beauty Army Kit!

Its that time of the month again! No, not THAT time of the month! The wonderful time of the month when my Beauty Army kit arrives!!!
I love getting this kit, I know I'll love everything because I get to *choose* my samples. Thats the beauty of Beauty Army.. Let's check out what I picked this month:
0.30oz Sample of Korres Guava Body Butter
Full Size Clickr Acne Spot Serum
0.34 oz Sample of Weleda Almond Cleansing Lotion
Full Size Grand Central Beauty Mask Kit
0.06 oz Aquolina Pink Sugar Fragrance Sample
0.24 oz Sample of Clear Prep FX Matte Foundation Primer

No surprises here, of course, because I picked them myself! I'm excited to try out the Grand Central Beauty mask.. I love fiddling around with things like that!
Its no secret that Beauty Army is my favorite subscription service.. I really like being able to pick my own samples, and if there is nothing I like (this has not happened yet), BA allows you to skip a month without losing your subscription..
What do you think about Beauty Army? Do you subscribe to any beauty subscription services?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this subscription myself :o)

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Makeup Show NYC!

This is going to be a quick post.. because I can barely keep my eyes open! I am exhausted after spending two great days at The Makeup Show in New York City.
It was an awesome event.. wonderful brands, incredible artists, and a great focus on makeup education. I will be writing more about the event in the coming weeks- the educational seminars, the wonderful makeup artists I met, and of course- the products!
I picked up some amazing stuff at the show, here is a little sneak peek of just *some* of the things I'll be showing you in the days and weeks to come!
See any familiar brands? There was an enormous variety at the show.. from brands I know and love to exciting up-and-comers. I was so thrilled to be able to go to The Makeup Show, and I am so very excited to share everything I saw and learned with you! Stay tuned!
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blog Hop!!

Attention fellow bloggers! The lovely Rachael of Island Girl Insights is hosting a blog hop! It's a great way to find fun new blogs to read, and to get some new friends over to your blog as well..
If you aren't a blogger, check it out anyway and find some great new reads!
Click the heart below to check out the event on Rachael's site :


Island Girl Insights

Thanks so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Makeup Show NYC Blogger Preview Event!

This Sunday and Monday marks the 7th Annual Makeup Show in NYC! The Makeup Show is a pro-only beauty event featuring top makeup brands showing off their latest and best products, as well as top makeup artists leading seminars and hands-on workshops. I was lucky enough to be invited to a blogger preview event tonight, the night before The Makeup Show opening.

Deborah Lippmann Ray of Light

I have a real problem with Deborah Lippmann nail polishes. The problem is that I want to buy them all.
Deborah Lippmann, a celebrity manicurist (and Jazz singer!) is the lady behind the eponymous line of gorgeous polishes. Every time I buy one, it becomes my new favorite polish.. that is until I get another DL.
Today we have Ray of Light, one of the newest colors in the line.

Ray of light is a deep, blue/purple jelly packed full of iridescent, shimmery flakies. The flakies shift from green to red to gold and everything in between. This is a lovely, multi-dimensional polish. Besides the beautiful effect from the flakies, I also really love the "squishy" finish of the purple polish. The formula was great- smooth, even, and ready-to-go in two coats. 
Ray of Light is a lovely addition to the Deborah Lippmann line, and certainly my new favorite.. that is until I get my hands on another one! 
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this polish myself for review :o)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Honeybee Gardens Party Girl Palette

Up for review today is a fun little palette from Honeybee Gardens. This is the Party Girl palette, a purse-friendly collection of four fun, striking colors. This palette is not for the faint of heart! It includes Velour-a rich, magenta-leaning purple, Mojito-a vibrant teal/green, Cupcake- a soft pink, and Shipwreck- a deep true royal blue.

As you can see, primer is a MUST for these shadows if you want to get maximum color payoff, and the most bang for your buck. The colors are really pretty, and this is a great combo of bold colors. This would be a great set to spice up a makeup collection consisting of mostly neutrals. The teal green color, Mojito, is my favorite! Its a gorgeous color that would look really fun on brown, green, or blue eyes. This is a great summer palette! I was pleased with the vibrancy and blendability of these shadows, but like I said.. primer is a must!
Check out Honeybee Gardens at their website, honeybeegardens.com . Their products are 100% all natural, cruelty-free, and reasonably priced. I'm loving this palette and looking forward to trying more of their goodies!
What do you think of these bold colors?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This product was provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion :o)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Indie Spotlight: Dollish Polish Random Dancing!

I have another LOVELY indie nail polish for you today... Random Dancing by Dollish Polish!
Shown here over Milani Rad Purple, Random Dancing is a gorgeous mix of multicolored glitters. What makes this a standout among other colorful glitters is the abundance of squares! Big blue and pink squares, little gold squares, and lots more! A topcoat of Random Dancing turns an otherwise boring polish into a fiesta! I love it! Like a lot of indie polish brands, Dollish Polish can be a little tough to get your hands on.. the shop sells out quickly. But, its worth it! You can get more info at www.dollishpolish.com . Check out the other shades there while you're at it, I was lucky enough to buy three and I'll be reviewing the others soon. They are all so unique!
What do you think of this multicolored glitter?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this polish myself for review.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Sweets!

Time for another Artsy Wednesday nail art challenge! This week's theme was Sweets. Since it was a pretty broad topic, I had a hard time deciding what to do for this manicure.. So, I just did a bunch of candy on my nails! Lollipops and gumdrops and the like.
I used The Nail Junkie's Rose Pink as a base and then drew on the candies using my set of Migi Nail Art Pens. I also used some extra colors- Milani Rad Purple, Sally Hansen Parrot, and Orly Orange Punch, as well as a black Kiss Nail Art Pen. I like how it came out, reminds me of the board game Candy Land!
Be sure to check out the sweet creations of the other bloggers participating in Artsy Wednesday:



Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased all mentioned products myself :o)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mother's Day Beauty Gift Guide

Mother's day is fast approaching, do you have your gifts ready yet? Maybe you are buying for your mother or grandmother, or maybe for someone special in your life that has been just like a mother to you. Beauty gifts are a great idea for Mother's Day. Whether the recipient is a beauty junkie or newbie, there is a gift for everyone on the list below. Mother's Day is a great excuse to get an important woman in your life something that will help her relax, boost her self-esteem, or even just splurge on something she wouldn't normally buy for herself. I've included some of my favorite beauty gifts, and since I absolutely love homemade gifts (they can be some of the most special gifts of all) I'm including some ideas to make your own gifts as well.
My number one Mother's Day tip, however... MAKE YOUR OWN CARD! You don't have to be an art wizard.. A little card stock, markers, glitter, stamps, stickers, anything-- and you have a special, heartfelt memento. You don't have to be a kid to make your Mom a card!
Well, on to the gift ideas!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Color Blocking with Barielle Swizzle Stix and Sweet Addiction

Today I have a fun manicure for you, a color block design I created with Barielle Sweet Addiction (teal/green) and Swizzle Stix (Blue). I came across some very thin painter's tape and wanted to try it out for nail art. I love the way these colors look together, I thought they made a great combo. The formula on both is phenomenal.. Smooth and opaque in two coats.
I began by painting my nails with Swizzle Stix. After letting it dry *completely* (this part is important!) I laid a strip of tape across my nail to divide it into two sections. Then, one at a time, I painted half the nail with Sweet Addiction and then quickly pulled the tape off while the polish was still wet. I now let this part dry completely, then taped off my nail again to create the gold stripe in the center. For this, I used Barry M Nail Polish in Gold Foil Effect.
What do you think? I like it, it isn't hard to do but it looks quite polished! Color blocking is BIG this Spring!
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: Some products mentioned were provided by the manufacturer or their PR for review, others were purchased by me. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion :o)

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Kneipp Jasmine and Argan Body Oil

Today for review we have Kneipp Jasmine and Argan Body Oil. I love bath and body products, I think they are a nice, easy, and affordable way to relax and pamper yourself. It's easy to rub down with a bar of soap in the shower and call it a day.. but isn't it nicer to treat yourself to wonderful, fragrant products that turn a simple shower into a relaxing experience? "Relaxing" isn't a strong enough word for this gorgeously fragranced, luxurious body oil.

This body oil is a post-bathing product, it is best to apply it in a thin layer on your skin immediately after a shower or bath while your skin is still damp, massaging it in until absorbed. The fragrance is so wonderful.. a soft, subtle, ever-so-slightly nutty floral. It is SO relaxing and therapeutic. It is wonderful after a shower to seal in moisture and nourish your skin. I also like to add a little bit to a bath for a fragrant, moisturizing soak. Full of wonderful ingredients like Jasmine Flower Extract, Argan Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Tahitian Vanilla, it is as nourishing as it is aromatherapeutic.
I also love the fact that this oil absorbs very well, it leaves your skin incredibly soft but not at all greasy. Definitely one of my new favorite bath and body products.. I have frequent insomnia and taking a warm bath followed by this fragrant oil really helps me relax and get to sleep! You can find it at the Kneipp website.
Do you enjoy aromatherapeutic products? What are some of your favorite scents?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This product was provided by the manufacturer or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Indie Polish Spotlight! All that Glitters Hole Hearted

Its no secret that I'm a little obsessed with Indie nail polish.. The offerings found by independent polish makers are just so lovely and unique compared to a lot of what you find in stores. Today I have a really fun polish to show you, Hole Hearted by All That Glitters.
Hole Hearted is made up of small and medium black hexagonal glitter and large white heart-shaped glitter. Its a nice polish to use as a topper for all sorts of colors, here it is shown over The Nail Junkie's Daffodil Yellow. I put a matte topcoat on this manicure but it looks great shiny, too. I love collecting unique topcoats, they really multiply manicure possibilities!
What do you think of this polish?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this polish myself for review :o)

Friday, May 4, 2012

May the Fourth Be With You - Star Wars Nail Art

Today is May the 4th.. Star Wars Day! I thought I'd do some quick nail art just for fun- Hope you like it! 
From left to right thats a Jawa, R2D2, C3PO, and Jabba the Hut! I used Milani White on the Spot, my recently indispensable Migi Nail Art Pens, Sinful Colors Nirvana, Barielle Granite Glitter, Sinful Colors Envy, and Sinful Colors Let's Meet.
What do you think?
Thanks so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: Some products mentioned were provided by the Manufacturer or their PR for review, others were purchased by me. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion! :o)

B. Kamins Laboratories Brightening Mask

Up for review today is the B. Kamins Laboratories Brightening Mask. B. Kamins is a line of cosmeceutical spa products. They combine cutting edge, pharmaceutical-grade ingredients with the luxury of a spa visit. I had the pleasure of speaking to Victoria, the national sales director for the line, who told me a bit more about the brand. Not only was she a really nice lady (who loves animals!) but she got me pretty excited about these products and what they can do for your skin. According to their website, B. Kamins' mission is:


"To offer the most advanced technology and formulations in skincare with the latest, cutting-edge ingredients.
To provide the most indulgent, stress relieving spa experience with “can’t live without them” products and treatments.
To continue as the forerunner in introducing intelligent and effective solutions to problematic skin conditions not yet available in the marketplace."

I had the opportunity to try out the Brightening Mask, and I was so pleased with the results. Here it is in the bottle and on my face- Do try not to get distracted by my incredible, expertly styled hair. 


Look at my AMAZING hair. Just look at it. 
The brightening mask does just what it promises.. it brightens! It totally cleared out and refined the congested pores on my nose, and got rid of the dead skin that was dulling my complexion. My skin absolutely looked (and felt!) brighter and refreshed. What I also liked was that it wasn't too drying, a problem I often have with masks, especially those that have Kaolin in them. 
This mask, like all B. Kamins products, is paraben free and not tested on animals. I loved the fragrance, too.. Fresh, clean, subtle, and very spa-like. This and the entire range of products can be found on bkamins.com 
Do you treat yourself to at-home spa products like masks? What do you like best? 
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: I received this product from the manufacturer or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

April Favorites!

My friend Jess at Love for Lacquer did a great post about her favorite things from April recently. I thought it was a great idea, so I asked if I could swipe it! :o)
So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite things from last month:

Farmhouse Fresh Whoopie Cream

This post is going to be a little hard to write because I can't stop sniffing myself. For review today I have Farmhouse Fresh's Whoopie Cream, a shea butter body cream with one of the most delectable scents you've ever experienced. You really have to smell it for yourself to appreciate it, but I will try to describe.


 In the jar, Whoopie Cream smells like sweet vanilla frosting. Once you put it on, however, the fragrance softens into a rich scent thats a combination of fluffy white layer cake and vanilla cream. It is a really soothing and relaxing yet fun scent. Most importantly, it is not too sweet! Sometimes vanilla-based fragrances can get sickly sweet or "chemical-ly". You won't find that here.. just a luxurious, buttery, cakey fragrance. You'll have to try not to lick your arm. The texture of the cream is wonderful, as well.. like a homemade whipped cream. It absorbs quickly and is very hydrating. I put it on immediately following a shower (and towel-dry) and the Whoopie cream soaked right in leaving my skin soft and hydrated but not sticky. Oh, and I smell like a cupcake! I'm a big fan of this cream, and I think the scent is such a crowd-pleaser that almost anyone would like it. I'm going to keep it in mind next time I need a hostess gift, as the packaging is adorable too.
Have you ever tried any Farmhouse Fresh products? What are your favorite sort of fragrances?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: This product was sent to me for review by the manufacturer or their PR. I am committed to giving you my honest opinion, always! :o)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Grayscale!

This week the challenge for the Artsy Wednesday group of bloggers was Grayscale.. a manicure with NO COLOR, can you imagine? I did this manicure last minute, not because I was procrastinating, but because I honestly was at my wits end for what to do! Finally I thought of it- Damask! I love damask print, and since it is usually black and white I thought it would be perfect for this challenge. Here it is:
I did this by freehanding damask print with a black Migi nail polish pen over Milani White on the Spot. I googled a couple pictures of damask wallpaper and used those as a reference as I drew. What do you think? Don't forget to check out the other members of the Artsy Wednesday group to see their spin on the grayscale manicure!




Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased all products mentioned myself :o)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lynnderella Bibbitty Bobbitty Boo Blue

I have a very special polish to show you today- Lynnderella Bibbity Bobbity Boo Blue!
I've been on the waiting list over at Llarowe for quite a while waiting to get this beauty.. but it was worth it! Here it is over Barielle's A Bouquet for Ava:
Is that lovely or what? BBB Blue consists of various sized blue glitters with a sprinkling of purple glitters as well. I layered 2 coats over another color so as not to waste it! Lynnderella polishes are hard to come by these days, but you can get more info about getting on the waitlist by visiting Llarowe.
What do you think of this polish? Worth waiting for or no?
Thanks so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

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