Tuesday, July 31, 2012

T'eez Bounce Me Style Cream and Build Me Style Spray

As part of the Bloom.com Ambassador's program, I was recently sent some products from T'eez to review. I had never heard of this brand before, so I went into the review process with an especially open mind. I used both of these products on clean, damp hair as directed.  I applied the "build me" volumizing spray near my roots, and the "bounce me" style cream from the middle of my hair to the ends.. again, as directed. I then dried my hair as usual. Unfortunately, neither of these products did a thing for my hair. The spray added no extra volume.. only a bit of stickiness. In turn, the "bounce me" cream which claims to "tame curls and swirls while adding volume" did nothing of the sort. The cream weighed down my hair in a big way, leaving my usually nice bouncy waves flat and dull. Its like the cream didn't penetrate my hair at all.. leaving a greasy, dulling, heavy residue. This is unusual for me, my hair is really thick and sometimes dry, and usually absorbs whatever I can throw at it. I didn't use a tremendous amount of product, either. I've used other volumizers and curl tamers with much better results.
On a positive note, both products had a pleasant fragrance. The "Build Me" spray smelled nice and cucumber-y. I didn't have a very good experience with the T'eez products, but that's not to say no one will. They just didn't work with my hair. You can find T'eez products at Bloom.com .
What do you use in your daily styling routine?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

This was sent for review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Moisturize Sun-Dried Locks with Sundari Healing Neem and Coconut Hair Treatment Oil

As part of the Bloom.com beauty ambassador program, I recently tried out Sundari Neem and Coconut Hair Treatment Oil. To use it, you apply it evenly all over your hair, leave in for half an hour, and then wash out. It has a really pleasant smell, not too "coconutty" at all. When you apply it, it makes your hair super greasy (its an oil, of course!), but it shampoos out surprisingly easily leaving your hair extra moisturized but not at all oily. Once my hair was dry, I could see the results of the treatment. I was impressed with the moisture and softness that the treatment oil imparted to my hair. The oil really absorbed in the half hour it was sitting in my hair, but the shampoo washed away any greasiness and left only moisture. Sometimes my hair gets really dry, especially seasonally.. I will certainly be stocking up on this treatment for when my hair needs a moisture boost! You can find it on Bloom.com .
Do you ever use moisturizing treatments on your hair?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: This was sent for review. All opinions are my own.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Summertime Treats in the July Glossybox

 I was excited to open up my mailbox this weekend and find the July Glossybox! Last month's box was my first, and I loved it. I'm happy to say that this month's box is just as great! With a nice mix of high end full sized items as well as samples, this box has both quality and variety. Here's what was inside:
  • Alessandro International Pedix Heel Rescue Balm
  • Figs & Rouge Lip, Face, and Body Balm
  • Sebastian Color Ignite Multi Tone Shampoo
  • Sebastian Color Ignite Multi Tone Conditioner
  • Senna Cosmetics Double Dose Lip Lacquer
  • Extra: Blushed Fragrance Towelette by Ruddy Water
How cute is the packaging on the Figs & Rouge Balm? I love pretty packaging on my beauty products. It smells lovely, too! The Senna Lip Gloss is great.. such fun Summer colors. Its inclusion goes to show you how good Glossybox is at including high-value items in their boxes. You really get your money's worth! I love how balanced this box is- with haircare, skin care, body care, makeup, and fragrance.. there is a little bit of everything! Lots of great stuff for Summer, too, especially with the inclusion of the Alessandro heel rescue balm and Figs & Rouge balm to provide moisture in the hot and dry Summer months.
I'm already excited for next month! 
Are you a GB subscriber?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: This was provided for review. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

More Sprinkle-Mania with Nails Inc. Sweets Way

I just posted about Pudding Lane from the Nails Inc. Sprinkles Collection yesterday, but when I put Sweets Way on today I had to snap a picture and show it to you! Another glitter-packed beauty, Sweets way features pink, blue, and silver glitter in a milky base
I love this one! It reminds me of cotton candy. Because of the dense glitter texture you'll want a clear topcoat on this.. but the application was great! 
How are you liking the Sprinkles Collection from Nails Inc. so far?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: This was provided for review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Glitter Galore with Pudding Lane from the Nails Inc. Sprinkles Collection!

I'm all about glitter, and I am so excited about The Sprinkles Collection from Nails Inc.! Featuring four polishes jam packed with glitter, this confection-inspired collection is sweet as can be. Today I'd like to share with you Pudding Lane, a gorgeous blue polish filled with navy blue and gold "Sprinkles"!
The glitter in this polish is so dense! It was really easy to get a good even coat of it on the nail. The formula was a breeze to apply. Because there is so much glitter, the texture is a little rough.. but a quick topcoat takes care of that! 
Shown is two coats of Pudding Lane with a topcoat of Seche Vite. 
What do you think of this lovely polish?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: This was provided for review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Vintage-Inspired Jewelry from Have Faith Designs.. and a GIVEAWAY!

I love browsing Etsy for handmade jewelry and accessories, and recently I came upon Have Faith Designs. The have a great aesthetic- using vintage-inspired elements they create really interesting yet wearable pieces. The baubles are feminine and trendy with just a little bit of an edge. I love the creativity and assemblage that goes into each piece! Perhaps best of all, the designs are super affordable, with pieces ranging from 10 to 45 dollars. I think its great to buy handmade goods from independent designers-and when they are this beautiful and reasonably priced.. why not?


Have Faith Designs has been kind enough to sponsor a giveaway right here on Beautygnome! We're giving away the "Charmed I'm Sure" necklace (Pictured above)! So, here is your chance to win a lovely piece from Have Faith Designs. You can enter via the Rafflecopter widget below. They've also provided a coupon code for Beautygnome readers! 15% off with code "beautygnome15" ..So be sure to check out their Etsy Shop!  
Good Luck! :o) 
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Music Nail Art!

This weeks Artsy Wednesday challenge was to create a manicure inspired by music. Mine is pretty basic.. I painted music on my nails! I love the look, though. I think black and white manicures can be very mod and interesting! 
I painted my nails with Andrea's Choice nail polish in Reverso, then added a coat of Essie Matte About You. Then, using a black Micron pen, I drew the music! 
What do you think?
Be sure to check out the other musical manicures from the ladies participating in Artsy Wednesday! 

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

Disclosure: I purchased all mentioned products myself.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A New Kind of Clean with the Clairsonic Whimsy Plus!

I am completely obsessed with my new Clarisonic Whimsy. From the makers of the Sonicare toothbrush, the device uses sonic frequency to move its brush back and forth over 300 times per second! What this means for your skin is deep cleansing and exfoliation that is surprisingly gentle. The brush is ultra-soft, and completely cleans out pores without any rough scrubbing. Clarisonic says that the Whimsy removes makeup six times better than traditional methods. While I didn't get out my beakers and lab coat to test the scientific validity of this statement, I can tell you that it gets my skin incredibly clean without any irritation, and totally removes all makeup. It has three speed settings, and beeps to tell you when to move on to a different section of your face. Its a really nice way to make sure you aren't washing your face too little or too much! 
What is also great about the Whimsy is that it is also a body care tool, and comes with a larger brush head for use on the body. Its great for exfoliating dry patches of skin on the elbows, knees, etc. Its also a nice way to prep before putting on self tanner. 
But the greatest benefit of the Clarisonic, for me, is how it deeply cleans and reduces the size of my pores. It actually makes them noticeably smaller (I'm assuming because there isn't any gunk in there to enlarge them!) 
The kit shown above (from b-glowing.com) also comes with an extra brush head for sensitive skin, some trial bottles of Clarisonic cleanser, and a cute pink case to hold it all.  The Whimsy Plus has become totally indispensable for me... I love it! 
Do you use a Clarisonic? How is it working for you?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica


Disclosure: this was provided for review. All opinions are my own. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Indie Spotlight! Summertime Snow with Sonnetarium Snowfall!

I have a beautiful indie polish to show you today- Snowfall by Sonnetarium. This polish features white hexagonal glitter and iridescent glitter of various sizes packed into a clear base. It looks gorgeous over most any color, but I especially like it over black. Shown here is two coats of Snowfall over Essie Licorice. 
It adds so much interest and texture! This is one of my favorite polishes of the moment. What do you think? You can find this and more polishes by Sonnetarium at www.etsy.com/shop/Sonnetarium
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica


Disclosure: I purchased this product myself. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Cut Down on Plastic Bottles with the Sodastream Fountain Jet

Image courtesy of Sodastream
I recently had the opportunity to try out the Sodastream Fountain Jet. What the Sodastream does is carbonate tap water in a reusable bottle, using a CO2 tank hidden in the unit. Depending on usage, each CO2 tank lasts about 3 months. Carbonating your own tap water eliminates the need to buy sparkling water in the store, saving quite a few plastic bottles. We drink a lot of seltzer in my house, and I've found the Sodastream to be incredibly convenient. I really like how much packaging it saves. Sodastream also sells concentrates of different types of soda, so you can add a little bit to your carbonated water for a variety of different flavors. We don't drink much soda in my house, so the concentrates are really nice to have on hand for when guests come over. I don't need to have 20 different bottles of soda taking up space in my fridge, yet I can offer people who stop by all sorts of beverages. The concentrates are shelf-stable and can be kept out of sight in a cabinet. The unit is easy to use, you just screw in the provided bottle full of tap water and then push the button to carbonate. The unit will make a buzzing sound when it has reached a certain level of carbonation. You can go from 1 to 6 buzzes depending on how fizzy you like your water/soda. If you are a sparkling water or soda drinker, the Sodastream is awesome to have around the house. It saves packaging, time, and money. One CO2 tank costs about 15 dollars, and carbonates countless liters of water. So if you drink a lot of sparkling water (or bubbly water, as we refer to it in my house!) the Sodastream is very convenient. You can find out more about the Fountain Jet and other units at www.sodastreamusa.com
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica


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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Gorgeous Summer Shades from Dr.'s Remedy

I have some fun summer nail polish shades to show you today, from Dr.'s Remedy. Enriched with good-for-your-nails nutrients like vitamins, wheat protein, and tea tree oil, Dr.'s Remedy creates fashion-forward shades that actually benefit your nails. 
With three bright, playful shades, the "Step into Summer" collection is the perfect set of warm-weather colors. The first of the three is "Grateful Grape"- a lovely purple with a touch of shimmer. 
The next, "Hopeful Hot Pink", is that just-right, classic hot pink that every girl needs in her collection. Universally flattering, bright, and fun! 
The last shade in the collection, "Youthful Yellow", is a real gem. It is hard to find a good yellow, one with a reliable formula. This lovely shade is opaque in two coats. Finally a beautiful pale yellow that doesn't apply as a streaky mess! 

Actually, all three of these shades applied like a dream! Two coats were all that was necessary for a consistent, gorgeous finish on all of them. 
I'm a big fan of this trio and I look forward to trying out more Dr.'s Remedy polishes! You can find these and a plethora of other shades at www.remedynails.com
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

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

Friday, July 20, 2012

Exfoliation Made Easy: Cleanlogic Peach Berry Soap+Sponge

I have a fun product to share with you today, Cleanlogic's Soap+Sponge. I love exfoliating products, and this soap from Cleanlogic puts a new spin on things. A rough textured, loofah-like sponge encased in glycerin soap, Soap+Sponge makes daily exfoliating a breeze. I love the smell of it too, it smells just the way it is described- like juicy peaches and berries! A lovely, fruity scent that's not too sweet. I wouldn't recommend this if you have very sensitive skin, as it does pack a good scrub! Its great for rough areas like elbows, knees, and heels. 
The soap itself is nice and moisturizing, and has a decent lather. The sponge inside is infused with anti-microbial properties to keep everything fresh and clean. I'm a fan of "combination products", -that is, products that do more than one thing! This bar soap plus exfoliator fits the bill. You can find this and more Cleanlogic products at http://www.cleanlogicbodycare.com
Do you exfoliate daily? What do you use?
Thanks so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica


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

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sneak Preview: Illamasqua Generation Q Fall Collection

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down with David Horne, Illamasqua's Director of Product Development, and a small group of beauty bloggers to get introduced to the upcoming Fall collection. David was incredibly funny and engaging, and did a a great job explaining the new collection and the sentiment behind it to us. Illamasqua is known for releasing very unexpected colors (think blue lipsticks), however the Fall Collection- Generation Q-is a range of more classic, glamorous shades. For Illamasqua, this in itself is a curveball.. By releasing a more traditional collection, they have once again managed to do the unexpected. Only Illamasqua! While these shades are more "traditional", they still retain an edge that makes them distinctly Illamasqua.
The idea behind Generation Q is that beauty shouldn't have any age limits. Many beauty experts assert that a woman shouldn't wear certain colors or finishes (shimmer, for example)after 40. Generation Q is a gorgeous set of stunning, vampy (and sometimes shimmery!) colors designed to be worn by women of any age- turning many of these preconceptions about age and makeup on their head. Generation Q will be available at Sephora in September. For now, take a sneak peek at some of the gorgeous shades that are included.















I can't wait to get my hands on these gorgeous shades. They are so perfect for Fall! I'm especially excited about that lovely eye quad- it has an assortment of finishes from matte to liquid metal and can be used to create a variety of stunning looks. I'm also looking forward to the black glitter nail lacquer. But one of the biggest highlights of the collection for me is the nude lipgloss- Opulent. It is absolutely stunning in person, with a gorgeous iridescence that changes from green to purple to every color in between depending on what light you view it in.
Anything in this collection that catches your eye? What do you think? You can find this collection on Sephora.com beginning in September, but check out Illamasqua's other amazing collections in the meantime!
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

*Photos courtesy of Illamasqua








Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Handmade jewelry with an artistic inspiration- MANOLO

I recently discovered Manolo through Boticca.com, a website that brings together independent jewelry and accessories designers from all over the world.
Marta Chojnacka is the designer behind Manolo. With a MA in painting and drawing, she brings her eye for detail and her artist's aesthetic to this range of handmade jewelry. A native of Poland living and creating in London, Marta's artistic background is evident in the places from where she draws her inspiration - from Henri Toulouse Lautrec to Medieval architecture. Each piece of jewelry is handcrafted, and very resonably priced, too! A couple of weeks ago I ordered a pair of earrings from Manolo. They arrived today and I had to share them.. they are lovely!

Crafted from walnut and hand-painted, these earrings (Medi Walnut Studs) are so unique! I love how they are inspired by Medieval window designs but retain a contemporary twist. At 22 dollars a pair I think these would make a lovely, different, and economical gift. Plus, I really think it is great to support independent young designers and artists. You can find Manolo and many more amazing independent designers at Boticca.com
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased these myself.

Artsy Wednesday: Dots!

This week's Artsy Wednesday challenge was to create a manicure using only dotting tools for decoration. I kept it quite simple, but I'm really happy with the result!

 I made a little pyramid of dots using Maybelline Denim Dash over a base of Color Club Blue Ming at the base of each nail. I love this look, and will definitely re-create it again with other colors. What do you think of this manicure? Be sure to check out the dot manicures from the other ladies participating in Artsy Wednesday!

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

Disclosure: I purchased all mentioned products myself

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Socially Concious Beauty- Salve Sister Raw Cupuaçu Organic Beauty Balm

Recently, while attending the HBA Expo in New York City, I had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with the Salve Sister brand. Salve Sister is a beauty company with a mission- to source ingredients from communities in need of economic investment. Their products are made with raw, natural, and organic ingredients that are always truly Fair Trade. Sourcing ingredients this way not only provides quality botanicals, but helps support small farmers and the communities they live in. 
Not only is their socially-concious business ethic great, but so is their product. I've been using their Raw Cupuaçu Organic Beauty Balm for a couple of weeks now, and I'm obsessed! 
This ultra-moisturizing salve is a miraculous multi-tasker! I love beauty products that can be used for more than one purpose. There isn't a dry body part that the salve can't handle.. elbows, heels, cuticles.. even hair! I love the fragrance, too. The salve is made with a very relaxing mix of essential oils including lavender, myrrh, and frankincense. The raw and organic ingredients used are carefully selected to provide vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids for a salve that is super hydrating and nourishing. Definitely a must have for dry skin, or any skin that needs a boost of hydration and radiance.
Its great to find a product that works really well, but it is even better to find one from a company working to do something good on this earth! I admire Salve Sister's initiative to help alleviate global poverty one small farmer at a time.  You read more about Salve Sister's mission at salvesister.com 
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

disclosure: A product sample was provided to me by the company or their PR. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion.

Monday, July 16, 2012

MaaDisha Shampoo9 Ayurvedic Hair Treatment Review



I have been using MaaDisha's Shampoo9 for some time now, and wanted to share it with you. I switch hair, beauty, and body products a lot because I'm always trying new things. Its rare for me to find something that I insist on sticking with! However, Shampoo9 has become my "holy grail" of shampoo. Like all MaaDisha products, Shampoo9 is an all-natural treat. With a formula based on Ayurvedic principles (you can read more about Ayurveda in my review of MaaDisha's Soap 5, here), this shampoo combines carefully selected natural ingredients that each provide a different nourishing component. Gooseberry and Soap Nuts cleanse the hair and scalp of excess oils, while Henna and Neem extracts condition and revitalize the hair. Totally chemical free, Shampoo9 is so cleansing, gentle, and moisturizing that it completely eliminates the need for conditioner. I really love streamlining my hair care routine, and this product helps do just that. To use it, you massage just a few drops (I really mean just a few drops!) into your scalp, let it sit, and then rinse. The product has very little lather, but really does its job. It has a pleasant, slightly minty and herbaceous scent. At 30 dollars a bottle, Shampoo9 is certainly more expensive than other shampoos.. but because of how little you need per shampooing, it is actually a great value. I have very long and thick hair and usually need an entire handful of other shampoos to wash my hair. I've been using the same bottle of Shampoo9 for about 3 months now. This is a great product to switch to if you want to "green up" your hair care routine, and eliminate chemicals. The plant based, thoughtful formula is really appealing to me. I love this shampoo, my hair and scalp are decidedly healthier since I started using it. You can find it at MaaDisha.com
Do you use any all-natural or Ayurvedic products?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica
Disclosure: this was provided to me by the company or their PR for review. As always, I am committed to giving you my honest opinion. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Zoya NYFW 2012 Designer Collection Swatches and Review

As you may know, Zoya Nail Polish is releasing three collections this Fall inspired by New York Fashion Week. I've already reviewed the Gloss collection (here), now on to the Designer collection! (The Diva collection will be reviewed shortly, so keep an eye out!)
Shown is two coats for all swatches. 
First off we have Noot, a dark green/blue grey. This is such a posh color, I really like it! Application was perfect.. totally opaque and gorgeous in two coats.


Next is Evvie, originally released in the now-sold-out Peter Som collection. This is a "Smoky Eucalyptus Creme", according to Zoya's description.. and that really hits the mark! Its a lovely color. 
Next is Natty, my personal favorite of the collection. A deep, smoky cadet blue. I know I'll be wearing this one A LOT this Fall!  
Next is Monica, a deep, gorgeous purple. Like the others, the formula on this is beautiful. Creamy opaque perfection in two coats.  
Toni is next, a lovely dark wine color. Really vampy and perfect for the Winter! This one makes me wish for cooler weather so I can pair this with a nice black sweater!  
Last but not least is Rehka, an amazing, slightly dark red. This is the sort of red that looks good on just about everyone!  


This new Designer collection from Zoya is right up my alley. I love these deep, muted, smoky shades and I know they'll be getting a lot of use once the weather cools down! The formula and application was fantastic on all of them. 
If you don't have an account on Zoya yet, you can sign up for one here (my referral link) (Just hit "Create an Account at the very top of the page) and once you do you'll find a coupon for a FREE Zoya shade in your account! 
What do you think of Zoya's Designer collection?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

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

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What's inside the July 2012 MyGlam Glambag?

As you may know if you've read my MyGlam reviews before, the Glambags sent out each month are pretty hit-or-miss. I'm happy to say that this month is a hit! The bag itself this month is pretty cute for Summertime, and it is filled to the brim with samples- including a couple of full-sized treats. 
Here is what was included in this month's "Beach Beauty" themed-bag:
Travel pack of 10 "Yes to Cucumbers" Facial Cleansing Towelettes
Josie Maran Magic Marker Cheek and Lip Stain
Bottle of Andrea's Choice Nail Polish
Sample bottle of Kiehl's Oil Free Facial Lotion
Sample of NuMe Hydro-Punch Conditioner

There is a great mix of samples and full sizes here, including a nice high-end product- the Josie Maran Magic Marker. Some of these products really do fit into the "Beach Beauty" theme well- the "Yes to Cucumbers" cleansing wipes are great for a quick cleansing while at the beach, and products like the conditioner and facial lotion are nice, hydrating pick-me-ups for sun-dried skin and hair.
I hope MyGlam continues with this trend of great bags! This one was certainly worth the money. 
What do you think of this month's bag?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

disclosure: I purchased this subscription myself.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Zoya NYFW 2012 Gloss Collection Swatches and Review

Zoya Nail Polish is releasing three gorgeous collections this fall inspired by New York Fashion Week. The three collections (Designer, Diva, and Gloss) comprise creme, shimmer, and jelly finishes in a range of rich colors. I'll be reviewing all three collections in the coming days. To start, let's take a look at the Gloss collection. 
Paloma, Katherine, and Frida
The gloss collection includes three lovely, jewel-toned polishes with a sheer jelly finish. The shades are build-able and with enough coats could reach opacity, but I recommend them for layering. They add shine and intensity when layered over other colors. They are also GORGEOUS for "jelly sandwiches" (that is, where a layer of glitter is sandwiched between two layers of a sheer polish). 
The first shade is Paloma, a lovely fuschia-berry color. Shown in all swatches below are three coats. 
Next is Katherine. Orignally released in the limited edition Peter Som trio, this sheer aubergine is once again available for the Fall.
Last is Frida, a gorgeous sheer teal. Very unique! 
As you can see, all are quite sheer. However, they are wonderful for layering! Here is a "Jelly Sandwich" made by layering one coat of American Apparel Meteor Shower between two coats of Katherine: 
You can create really interesting manicures with this lovely trio of jelly shades. The application on all three is smooth and easy, as well!
Stay tuned for the other two Fall collections- Designer and Diva! 
If you don't have an account on Zoya yet, you can sign up for one here (my referral link) (Just hit "Create an Account at the very top of the page) and once you do you'll find a coupon for a FREE Zoya shade in your account! 
Which jelly is your favorite?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: these were provided to me by the manufacturer or their PR. All opinions are my own. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Take a peek inside the July Birchbox!

My July Birchbox arrived today! This month's box is a collaboration between Birchbox and Glamour Magazine. Because Summer is a sensory overload, the box's theme is "The 5 Summer Senses", and has corresponding products for each one. Let's take a look inside:
Lots of goodies in this month's box! It included:
A mini Color Club nail polish in Blue Ming
Deluxe sample of Boscia BB Cream
Stila Lip Glaze in Action
Sample of Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien
Plus lifestyle extras:
Tin of Tea Forte Minteas mints
Birchbox-designed Neon Earbuds


I'm happy with this month's box, for sure. It has plenty of makeup- a BB cream, full size Stila Lip Glaze, and a great little nail polish. The mints and the headphones are pretty neat extras, too! The headphones were a cute way to incorporate the sense of hearing into this themed box. Beauty sample subscription boxes can be hit-or-miss, but July's Birchbox is certainly a hit for me! 
Are you a Birchbox subscriber? What do you think of this month's box?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica


disclosure: I purchased this subscription myself. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Artsy Wednesday: Ruffian Manicure

This week's Artsy Wednesday challenge is the Ruffian Manicure, also known as the Reverse French. To achieve this look, I first painted my nails with Barielle's A Bouquet for Ava. I then added a coat of Nail-Venturous Floam, leaving a large gap at the bottom of my nail for the Barielle color to show through. I then topped it all with a coat of Seche Vite to even out the texture. 
I didn't think I was a fan of the Ruffian, but I actually like this look! What do you think? Is this a nail art technique you would try? Be sure to check out the Ruffian manicures from the other ladies participating in the Artsy Wednesday challenge! 


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


Disclosure: Some products mentioned were purchased by me, others provided by the manufacturer or their PR. All opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Join me Wednesday the 11th for #GLOSSYchat - Summer Nail Trends!

I'm excited to tell you that I'll be co-hosting Glossybox's weekly #GLOSSYchat tomorrow on Twitter! Join us as we discuss Summer nail trends and answer all of your nail questions! Tune into Twitter Wednesday the 11th at 3pm EST and ask away using the #GLOSSYchat hashtag. Or, just read along with us as we share tips and tricks for the perfect Summer nails.
I look forward to chatting with you all! You can follow me on Twitter here (@beautygnome) and you can follow Glossybox here (@Glossybox_US).


In the meantime, check out my review for June's Glossybox here! :o)
I'm all about brights and nail art this season, like in my color-blocked tape manicure:


I'm also loving NEONS! Here is a cool mani I did by sponging various neons over white, and topping it off with a fun glitter topcoat- Connect The Dots by Lynnderella.

What are your favorite nail trends this Summer? Any colors or nail art ideas that are inspiring you?
Thank you so much for reading!
All the best,
Jessica

Monday, July 9, 2012

Get a Summer-Perfect Flush of Color with Stila Passion Fruit Crush Cheek and Lip Stain

I love multi-purpose beauty products. They save me time rooting around my makeup bag, and are great when I want to travel light. Today I have one such multi-purpose product to show you- Stila's Passion Fruit Crush Cheek and Lip Stain. 
Passion Fruit Crush is a beautiful, sheer, blush pink. I love how build-able it is.. You can put on a little for a subtle wash of color, or layer it for a bolder look. It blends beautifully into the cheeks, and I love the finish on the lips.. sheer and shiny and never sticky. Unlike a lot of other lip stains I've used, it doesn't settle into the cracks of the lips. Long lasting and ultra-wearable, Stila Passion Fruit Crush Cheek and Lip stain has earned a permanent place in my makeup bag! 
Here I am wearing it lightly on my cheeks, and layered a little more heavily on my lips:
What an awesome, versatile beauty product. Love it! 
Do you ever use cheek or lip stains, or do you stick to blushes and glosses? 
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. I am committed to giving you my honest opinion.*

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend Wishlist Vol. 2

Time for another Weekend Wishlist! Here are some lovely goodies I've had my eye on lately: 
5. LORAC Pro Palette -$42.00  


This is a pretty diverse list, I know! Everything on here caught my attention for different reasons. 
  • I love the spike motif recently, and the Jeffrey Campbell flats have all the fierceness of a spiked heel but with a bit more comfort! 
  • The Motel dress is so cute and different for the summer.. I love the colorful, modern print!
  • I have a huge collection of stud earrings- they are easy to wear and easy to pair with all sorts of outfits. These bicycle studs are casual and cute, but have plenty of personality. 
  • This little gnome messenger is too cute! I love gnomes (obviously) and I really like the look of the screen-printed illustration against the cotton canvas. This would be great to take to the library.. 
  • No wish list of mine is complete without makeup! This LORAC palette has a beautiful range of shades, and I've been wanting to try the brand forever. 
Anything on my wish list that you'd include on yours, too?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Indie Review: 20% Cooler- A spectacular new nail polish from Rainbow Honey


I have a gorgeous nail polish to show you today- 20% Cooler by Rainbow Honey. Shown here is two coats over 1 coat of Zoya Robyn. Robyn makes a great coat of "underwear" because it closely matches the basecoat of 20% Cooler.. so you don't have to use as much of this very special polish for complete coverage. 

I am totally in love with the polish! The multicolored glitter against the blue is so pretty, and the dense shimmer makes it different and special. I also love the formula. The glitter is ultra-dense, yet easy to apply. Rainbow Honey clearly took care in formulating it, as the glitter is perfectly suspended and does not settle. Rainbow Honey is a great indie brand.. they are really going places! They have excellent customer service and their packaging is beautiful. They have a gorgeous new website, too. Check it out (here) to find out more about this and their many other lovely, unique shades.
What do you think of this polish?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: I purchased this product myself.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Luxe Beauty Samples and More in the June GLOSSYBOX


I was very excited to receive my first GLOSSYBOX in the mail recently. I love beauty sample subscription services (when they are good!)... and this one is good! GLOSSYBOX features 5 deluxe, high-end beauty samples each month. Available in over 15 countries, GB just hit U.S shores a few months ago. Aside from the samples, my GLOSSYBOX also included a copy of their GLOSSYmag. GLOSSYmag is a really cute publication by GB featuring beauty tips, trends, and more. I think the inclusion of such a polished-looking little magazine in the box is a great idea and sets GLOSSYBOX apart from other subscription services. 
Let's see what samples were in the box:
1. Kinerase Restructure Firming Cream
2. First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream
3. Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment
4. Shea Terra Organics Ultimate Moisturizing Body Creme
5. (Bonus Item) Urban Organic Perfume from A Perfume Organic
6. beautyADDICTS Show-OFF Mascara

First impressions: this box included a really nice mix of fragrance, makeup, skincare, haircare, and bath+body. So many beauty sample services are ALL skincare, ALL the time. I really appreciate the variety here, as well as the full size mascara! Also, as a side note- I'm not sure what Heaven smells like, but I think to assume it smells like the Shea Terra White Chocolate Body Creme would be a pretty safe bet. Seriously, the fragrance is amazing.. and what a cute little sample jar! 
This is my first GLOSSYBOX- but based on what I'm seeing here, GB is doing beauty sample subscriptions right. Well curated, diverse, luxurious, and a good value. Well done, GLOSSYBOX! 
What beauty sample services do you subscribe to?
Thank you so much for reading! 
All the best, 
Jessica

Disclosure: This box was provided to me for review. All opinions are my own. 

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