Lancôme Teint Miracle--new foundation HG!

I never thought I would love another foundation more than my Armani Lasting Silk (I have it in 4 shades), .....until now. I have been in a foundation rut, and feeling like my skin is looking a little dull. I made it a mission to find a new HG foundation.
My criteria:
1.). Want my skin to look luminous (like I'm glowing)
2.). Want medium, buildable coverage
3.). Must be oil free, but not drying
4.). Must offer shades for light/medium olive skin
5.). Must be long lasting
6.). Must NOT break out/irritate my sensitive skin

I know what you're thinking! "She's crazy if she thinks one foundation can do all that.". Crazy or not, I decided to give it a shot. I tried several, including the new Chanel Perfection Lumiere. Everything fell short on 1 or more requirements, except for one. Lancôme Teint Miracle Lit From Within Makeup is absolutely divine. I've never seen my skin look so ethereal (almost like a model's skin for a fashion show). Bye, bye dull skin! My face looks luminous and healthy, and it looks that way all day! I couldn't be more pleased!!! Teint Miracle foundation was everything I wanted and more. The color selection is amazing, and the scent is very light. I chose Beige 6, which blends in so seamlessly, that the swatch didn't even show up in a photo (which is why you don't see one). This foundation has moderate/buildable coverage, that is oil-free. It actually contains rose extract, which soothes irritated skin. I highly recommend this foundation---if you're into the whole "flawless skin" look---which I definitely am!

**Item purchased by me!


Dior Mizah 5 Colour Eyeshadow Palette

I actually picked up the Dior Mizah palette several weeks ago, but have been too busy to review it. When I saw this set of eyeshadows online, it was love at first sight. I could barely wait to get my hands on it! I it looked like a perfect neutral palette. One it finally came, the love affair was over. The set turned out to be no-so-neutral-neutrals. While I did like the sleek compact, and animal print embossed on the shadows, I didn't like the shadows themselves. All of the colors are very matte, making some of them very hard to wear. I am used to the pearlescence of most Dior eyeshadows, and the matte effect of this one left it feeling, well, flat. I could have layered the browns over my Armani Eyes To Kill Intense in #9, but I feel that a $60 set of shadows should stand alone! If you like matte shadow, you will probably like this palette, but if you are used to most of the Dior eyeshadow palettes, this might not have enough impact.


Boscia B.B. Cream SPF 27 PA++

I have to confess that I am now, too, on the BB bandwagon! Thanks to a recent Sephora promo that let's you sample 3 of their BB creams. BB creams have been around in Asia for sometime now, but are the new thing here in the states. These creams are said to function as a multiple-tasking, do-it-all face cream. BB Cream is said to be a moisturizer, sunscreen, and skin treatment, all rolled into one! I wanted to try the one by Clinique, but sadly, it is nowhere near my skin color. The good news is that Laura will be trying that one out. The samples I received were by Dr. Jart and Boscia. I already own a few Boscia products, so decided to try this one first.

The Boscia has a light olive-ish tint, it did not show on my skin. I have applied it in the morning, after using toner. I then apply my usual foundation on top (for you guys sake, I have used it with: Day 1-- Armani Lasting Silk, day 2--YSL teint resist, day 3--Pixi Tint and Conceal in Sun Glow). I felt that it helped my make-up last longer, especially the Pixi (a tinted moisturizer). My skin also looks better with the BB Cream--more if a soft-focus finish. The product is un-scented, which is nice, and is easy to blend in with finger tips.

I was skeptical at first, but must admit that I am really enjoying this product. So much so, that it's going to be hard to give it up to try the other 2 creams I have.


YSL Teint Resist Foundation--New HG????

I was just given a sample of YSL Teint Resist Foundation at a recent beauty event. I am SUPER picky when it comes to foundation: has to be yellow or neutral undertone (olive skin is very hard to match correctly--especially in the winter when I am light), it must be sweat and/or water-resistant, it must be transfer-resistant, long wearing, oil free, and preferably a medium coverage with a luminous matte finish. I know, I know....DIVA. Hey, I did warn you that I was picky, I mean its my face!!! So, let me get to reviewing the sample.

My sample was in shade 08 Amber (medium to deep complexions with neutral-red undertones). I actually found the undertone to be neutral, but the shade was no where near deep. I would call it medium--compares to Giorgio Armani Lasting Silk in Shade 6.5 or 7. It is a medium, satin matte finish, with a faint smell (I think it smells faintly like lemongrass--which I love). If you are sensitive to smell, it goes away after blending it in. Melts into the skin, with either a foundation brush, or fingers. It gave my face a "airbrushed" look--light, soft, radiant.

Swatched on L to R: Armani Lasting Silk in #6.5, YSL Teint Resist #08, Armani Lasing Silk #8
Armani 6.5 is the most olive, just wish they made 8.5---it would be my soul mate!!!
YSL 08 has a very neutral undertone, possibly leaning toward pink, and Armani 8 has a true neutral undertone, that has hints of yellow.

I will be "road testing these over the next few weeks, and see if my Armani's have been replaced as a HG. I have sales associates sending me samples of Armani Lasting Silk in #9, and YSL Teint Resist in 09. Once I have the proper colors, I will do one side of my face in each and go through my usual routine (work, ZUMBA, pool, gym, etc), and get back to you with the verdict. Stay tuned.........

**Samples received at a department store as part of national beauty promotion.


Stilla Custom Color Blush in Self-Adjusting Coral

I was in Sephora making a return, last week, and saw the most amazing blush by Stilla. It just so happened that I was looking particularly washed-out that day, and decided to try it on. Little did I know it would be my new favorite! I actually knew nothing about this blush when I tried it on (and purchased it), I just wanted something to perk up my look. When I got home to look up more about my new purchase, I realized it was Stilla's Custom Color Blush, in Self-Adjusting Coral. These blushes (pink or coral) are supposed to react to your pH and create a personalized finish, therefore, they should be wearable for any skin tone.

I am not sure about the pH and all that jazz, but I do know it is a stunning shade of bright peach-coral, that looks perfect on. The blush is pretty pigmented, so use a light hand (it is very easy to blend, and layer--best to start light and build the intensity if you want it). This gorgeous shade really does wake-up your whole face, its gives a perfect healthy flush. I am thrilled with this find, and highly recommend it. I don't plan to review the Self-Adjusting Pink, as pink blushes never look quite right on my olive skin. If you have tried these, let me know what you think of either shade!

**Item purchased by me.


Givenchy Photo'Perfexion Light Fluid Foundaon SPF 10

I just tried Givenchy Photo'Perfexion Light Fluid Foundation. I am still not exactly where I stand on this foundation/tinted moisturizer. It falls somewhere in-between the two categories.

Here is the scoop, per Sephora's website:

"What it does: Perfects the complexion with incredible radiance and natural coverage. Its fresh, extra-thin, and comfortable fluid texture melts into the skin upon application."
"What it is: An ultra-light, natural-looking, SPF 10 foundation."

Here is what I noticed with this product. I is a beautiful tinted moisturizer, as far as coverage goes, that's all it did for me. I have pretty good skin, but it can be a little uneven. This evened out the skin tone, but didn't last very long on the face. And I much as I tried to make it work (used setting powders, finishing powders, all nighter spray), I just couldn't get it to last. The other major problem is the very limited color selection. It only comes in 6 colors (I fell somewhere between #6 and #7, so I just can't justify spending $47 x 2-- to mix together, for a TINTED MOISTURIZER!! If you have flawless skin, or like a no-makeup look, you will likely love this, if you can find the right shade for you!

**Purchased by me, was returned for YSL foundation.......stay tuned!


Milani HD Advanced Lipcolor--GH Alert

I discovered a drugstore brand that I have been neglecting since high school. Milani! Milani always had bold, vibrant, colors for women of any skin tone. I never expect to find an amazing, classy nude lip color hidden among the bright colors of that thine.

Milani HD Advanced Lipcolor is everything I want in a lipcolor, and more!

"Milani's 3-in-1 lip color that nourishes, hydrates, and delivers a sheer wash of color with clarity and perfect radiant shine. It instantly comforts dry, chapped lips, and provides long-term moisturization."

This lipcolor is the most amazing shade of sheer nude (perfect --yes-my-lips-are-always-this-dewy and-fresh-naturally--color). It will look amazing on a variety of skin tones. It has a light pleasant citrus smell. The packaging is very old school glamorous--looks like it would be way more expensive--but lucky for us, its a steal at $7.00.

Swatched on my arm (after a weekend at the beach)

You must run out and buy several tubes: for you gymbag, your purse, your desk, stocking stuffers for you girlfriends,etc---just save a few for me!!!!!

**Item purchased by me.


Giorgio Armani Jacquard Eye Palette #2

Ok, so you know what an Armani junkie I am, and I have been wanting these before my local rep even knew about them!! I have been looking at my local Nordstrom's Armani counter each week, hoping for these to arrive, and on my trip Friday--------they were here!!! (Choir of angels sing, a white light shines down on the new collection, and as I get close enough to look at an touch it----it all stops!

  • The top color is a light, icy blue-silver
  • On the left is a light blue-grey (the color of the sky before a storm)
  • On the right is a muted dove grey (think of a stormcloud)
  • On the bottom is a muted red brown (like the color of a Godiva chocolate)--my favorite of the 4 colors.
I am so sad about this new collection. I did really like the #6 Caramel Blushing Fabric, but I have enough bronzers! The face palette is OK--colors are similar to those in the summer palette, and the eye palettes (while beautifully packaged), were muted colors on the skin. Palette #1 reminded me of Mardi Gras (yes, I lived in New Orleans, where the only reason to mix green, purple, and gold--is if you're going to a parade!)

The palette I was really drooling over is #2 the grey eye palette. Online, the colors looked like shimmery silvers, icy blue, and smoky grey. On the skin, however, the colors were very muted. All of my eyes to kill palettes have bold, shimmering, vibrant colors, are beautiful iridescent nudes and neutrals. This one was just a little blah, on the skin :( The shimmer and vibrancy that I love about Armani eye color just wasn't there, so I guess I'll be waiting on "pins and needles" for the Holiday Collection!


Guerlain Terracotta Skin Healthy Glow Foundation

I received an interesting sample with my last Sephora order, Guerlain Terracotta Healthy Glow Foundation. We all know that Guerlain's Terracotta Bronzer is absolutely amazing, but I have never actually tried any of their foundations. I looked it up on Sephora's website and noticed the foundation only comes in two colors: Blondes 01 or Brunettes 02. Terracotta Skin Foundation is described as "a matte foundation with a velvety powder finish.

On me, the Brunettes 02, was a perfect shade to match my summer tan.

Terracotta Skin Healthy Glow Foundation, is more of a bronzing tinted moisturizer. It has a whipped-mousse consistency, and a perfume scent. If you have a sensitive nose, you may find the fragrance overwhelming at first. The coverage is very sheer. If you have great skin, it perfects & bronzes. I like it for days when I'm rushing out the door, and just want a natural look. The staying power is fair, as good as any other tinted moisturizer--needs powder touch-ups during the day. Recap: This is not a foundation, it's a nice tinted moisturizer-that also let's you skip the Bronzer. But, for $49 a tube, I can definitely live without it.


Giorgio Armani Gloss d'Armani #400, Dupe-able?

Like many of you, I too have fallen in love with the Gloss d'Armani lipglosses! They are stunning, however, the price tag is equally stunning. Like the national budget, my cosmetic budged has recently had major cuts (mostly due to expensive car repairs) :( Because I still love my make-up, I decided to pursue some budget-friendly options.

My favorite shade of Gloss d'Armani is #400, the perfect, creamy, true-red. I tried it on in the store and immediately fell in love, and thus was on a mission for a cheaper dupe. I have mentioned on many occasions a newer brand at Ulta, Essence. They have great finds, especially when it comes to glosses. Essence has a new line of gloss, called Stay With Me Long Lasting Lipgloss. Lucky for me, one of these colors is a shade of red. 07 Kiss Kiss Kiss is a beautiful, opaque, cherry red. It is a true red, not too orange, not too blue.

I swatched out both reds, and surprisingly enough, they are nearly the same shade. I still adore the Armani one, but the Essence gloss is nearly and exact match. As far as longevity, both glosses lasted the same amount of time (both are marketed as long-wearing). The texture is nearly identical, and neither one has a distinct smell. After wearing each one for a day, I was floored when I saw how similar the two products are, yet how different the price tag is. Both give you what you want, but Essence Stay With Me Gloss in Kiss Kiss Kiss won't increase your budget deficit!


Revlon Colorburst Lipstick in Fashion's Night Pout

Good news for those of you who missed out on this color last year! Revlon has re-launched its super-hard-to-find, but perfect-nude-lipstick-for-fair-skin, Fashion's Night Pout. This soft-pink/nude lipcolor is developed by renowned makeup artist, Gucci Westman, exclusively for Revlon. Originally this shade was only avaliable at Rag and Bone, during Fashion's Night Out, but is now avaliable to the masses! I found my tube at my local Walgreens (which happened to be having a BOGO on Revlon products).

It is very similar in color to MAC's Lady Gaga 2, but not as opaque and not as brown. I find it to be more sheer, and more pink, than the MAC. It truly is beautiful on fair skin. It is a little too light for me to wear alone in the summer, but once topped with Revlon's Colorburst Lipgloss in Sunset Peach, it is the perfect nude lip to go with a smoky eye. The case is simple, elegant, and black. The color has no smell, which is a plus to those of you with sensitive noses. The lipcolor has average wearability. Overall its a good value for the price.

**Item purchased by me.


Bare Escentuals Prime Time Primer Shadow

The new Prime Time Primer Shadow from Bare Escentuals is an eye primer that provides light-reflective metallic color that can be layered with other shadows.  The primer is good for people with oily lids, uneven texture, and people who have problems creasing.

There are 6 shades to chose from and price is $18 USD for 0.1 oz of product.  The color I picked up is Chroma Violet, which is described as Ripe Plum.

Compared for size next to Too Faced Shadow Insurance - $18 for 0.35 oz.
 Prime Time Shadow is $18 for 0.1 oz.

I LOVE this product!  The color on me looked purpley-silver with shimmer depending on the light.  It did not crease on me either (and I usually crease everything).  The only down-side to this product is the price and how much product you actually get.  You do only need a little bit to give a good amount of color, but I wish Bare Escentuals would give you more for the money! You almost get 3x the amount of product for the same price with Too Faced's Shadow Insurance.  

Giorgio Armani Beauty to Go Set (Nordstrom Exclusive)

Its getting hot outside, summer is in full swing, and you know what that means................Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!!! One of my favorite times of year. I always love their Anniversary sale because of the exclusive beauty sets. They have so many amazing sets to choose from, its so hard to decide! But I must admit, this year there was a specific set I had my eyes on ;)

I recently discovered the Giorgio Armani Gloss d'Armani, and love them. When I saw this gift set, I knew it was perfect. The Beauty to Go set contains 3 shades of Gloss d'Armani (103, 400, 602), an Acqua Di Gioia eau de parfum rollerball, and a beautiful white patent croc-print cosmetic bag (which can double as a cute clutch). The glosses in the set are so lovely. 103 is a beautiful, light nude, 400 is the perfect true red (my favorite of the 3), and 602 is a shimmering, vampy-plum. The set retails for $65, but is worth so much more! (I was fortunate to have a $20 Nordstrom note, so the price was even better!) If you love Gloss d'Armani glosses, this is the set for you, grab one before they're gone.

**Set purchased by me.


Benefit They're Real Mascara

A few weeks ago I received a sample of Benefit's new They're Real Mascara. To explain this mascara you must endure a short but very relevant story.

Do you remember the show Seinfeld? In one memorable episode Jerry starts dating a woman (played by Teri Hatcher) with a very nice figure. It is early in the relationship, and Jerry debates if "they're real" or fake. Hilarity ensues, as Jerry has his friend Elaine try to find out the truth. Elaine tries multiple schemes, but she is unsuccessful in getting the real scoop. Finally the woman gets wise to Jerry and Elaine's plan, and she's not happy. In the final scene, she breaks up with Jerry and as she walks out the door, declares "by the way, they're real and they're spectacular!".

**BTW: This photo is taken 24 hours after I applied the mascara. It still looks like I just applied!**

I share this with you, because that's exactly how I felt after using this mascara. My lashes were longer, thicker, darker, and curled. This mascara stays put, no flaking, clumping, running, or smearing. It is amazing how well it works (plus, no primer needed with this one). My new HG mascara!!! To sum up the way I feel about my lashes with this mascara, "they're real, and they're spectacular".

**Item purchased by me.


Dan Read Cosmetics Silver Screen Series Shimmer Foundation

I had actually never heard of Dan Read Cosmetics until reading a post on a blog a few weeks ago. The blogger gave the foundation rave reviews, so I became intrigued. Dan Read Cosmetics was created in 1997, for hi-def television, but also to provide make-up that is paraben-free and made from natural ingredients. After reading a few reviews and researching the company, I was ready to give it a shot. The Shimmer foundation sounds great. It's natural looking (think your skin, but better), lightweight, has SPF 15, is sweat-proof, humidity-proof, smudge-proof, and long-wearing. After reading all this, I thought "sign me up."

Now, I must first warn you that this foundation is color matched by either taking an online questionnaire, or by talking to one of their reps by phone. Returns are not accepted, but they guarantee a match for 95% of customers. I took the online quiz and narrowed it down to about 3 shades, and then called to decide between them. I was matched to Far East 3. (My skin is described as Caucasian with Native American and Cajun French heritage). To put that in English, I am in-between shades #8 and #9 in Armani's Lasting Silk Foundation. When the foundation arrived, I was a little surprised. The compact is slightly larger than a single Stilla eyeshadow, and the make-up is hard as a brick. It is a solid, but goes on like a powder. It also looked a little darker than I expected. This foundation also has a learning curve as far as application goes. I have only found one sponge that works (it's a small white sponge, rectangular with rounded corners. Appx. 1.5 in. x 2 in. I think it's by Cover Girl--sold in pack of 3). Brushes and fingers do not work with this product.

One you figure out the technique, the finish is beautiful. I personally, use this as a finishing powder (in place of my Armani powder) to set my foundation or tinted moisturizer (depending on the day). The shimmer is so fine, it gives a satin-matte finish. It truly looks like you have flawless skin. I applied it over my Armani lasting silk foundation (applied very lightly), worked an 8 hour shift, drove 7 hours to meet my family for vacation, stayed up doing Zumba with my sister till 1am....and it still looked flawless. No touch-ups needed. Amazing!!!!

Benefit Cha Cha Tint

Sorry for the infrequent posts the last few months. Several family trips and extra hours at work have kept me very busy! I had a few minutes to myself the other day, and decided to pick up Benefit's newest tint: Cha Cha Tint. I love the new oranges for summer, and this "mango-tinted lip and cheek stain" is the perfect shade. It is just the right shade of peachy-coral to give you a lovely summer glow. I blend it on my cheeks for a nice flush, and also layer it under my favorite gloss for a pretty coral lip.

One bottle will set you back about $29, but it will last forever. A little really does go a long way!

**swatched on my hand**

**Item purchased by me.


Waterproof Wonders 4: SUN BUM Sunscreen

I just got back from vacation in south Florida, and one of the most important "waterproof wonders" to have there is sunscreen!!! I am always on the lookout for a good face sunscreen, and my standards are very high: won't burn my eyes, won't make my sensitive skin break out, won't make me look like a ghost, and if possible, it should smell good. I know that's asking alot, but I discovered a brand in Florida that totally delivers!!! SUN BUM has the most awesome sunscreen I have ever found!

SUN BUM is a small company based in Cocoa Beach, FL. Not only is SUN BUM recommended by the SCF, but there is no animal testing involved in the development of their products. Their products contain Parsol 1789, and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Our entire family used the SUN BUM face products, and none of us had burnt cheeks or noses. I am a huge fan of both the SPF 30 Face Stick and the SPF 50 Clear Zinc Oxide (my personal fave). Both of these products smell like tropical drinks, come in funky, fun packaging, and protect your face without any irritation. I hope to try out their body sunscreens during the summer. You can find their products in surf shops in many states, and online.

**Items purchased by me.


Waterproof Wonders 3: Maybelline SuperStay 24 Color

Next up in the waterproof series, is a lipcolor that is "everything proof", but still looks beautiful on the lips! Maybelline SuperStay 24 Color is a 2-step lipstick that really does stay in place for up to 24 hours. There is a lipcolor on one end, and a moisturizing balm on the other. This lipcolor comes in 30 shades, ranging from sheer nudes to bold brights. I love that the formula is sheer and slightly shimmery. Just enough shimmer to look natural and soft, no matte finish colors, which can be drying when they are the stay-on formulas.

My two favorite colors are Continuous Coral (bright pink-coral) and Timeless Toffee (pinkish nude). Continuous Coral is a similar shade color as my favorite summer lipstick, Estee Lauder Pure Color Lipstick in Nectarine. I wear the 24 color on the bottom and top with the EL lipstick. That way as the lipstick fades, I still have the "stain" of color from the Maybelline 24 color.

Colors L to R: Continuous Coral and Timeless Toffee

The Maybelline 24 Color ($8) is very impressive, it has the same texture as most of its department store rivals, but has more staying power and more color choices, and cost a fraction of the price!!!!

**Item purchased by me.


Waterproof Wonders 2: Estee Lauder Double-Wear Light Foundation

Alright, so this isn't technically waterproof (I have yet to find a foundation that actually is, and comes in the right shade). Estee Lauder Double-Wear Light Foundation isn't new, but it has been a staple in my cosmetic bag for the last few summers. It is a light to medium coverage foundation, it comes in 6 shades, its oil-free and fragrance-free, and gives 15 hour wear (per EL website). I apply this in the morning, then add the Hourglass Waterproof Bronzer and set it with Urban Decay All Nighter, and I'm good to go! Lasts through ZUMBA class, pool, beach, etc.

2 seems to be a good universal shade for light skin tones. I wear a 3 in the winter (light olive skin), and a 4 or 5 in the summer (tan olive skin).

**Item purchased by me.


Waterproof Wonders 1: Hourglass Superficial Waterproof Bronzer

As promised, months ago, I will be doing a series of posts called "Waterproof Wonders." These are my favorite waterproof/water-resistant products, without which I could never survive summer!

For my first post, I have chosen a miraculous new discovery, Hourglass Superficial Waterproof Bronzer.

Let me start with a backstory, I have melasma on my face, which only shows up after sun exposure. So, although I get very tan in the summer, my face does not. I keep sunscreen on it at all times. This results in a very dark tan body, and a face that is much lighter. To the rescue, is the Waterproof Bronzer by Hourglass. This is a powder bronzer, that is a nice matte, warm tan. I apply it with Sephora Collection Professional Bronzer Brush #44. It takes a little practice to blend well, but is easiest with this brush. Once on, this stuff is exactly as it says, WATERPROOF!!! I put it on this weekend, and was at the pool all day, in the 98 degree weather. I reapplied sunscreen over it, swam, was splashed repeatedly by my 6 year old, and wiped my face multiple times----it was still there! It was so natural looking, and didn't come off until I cleaned my face that night. If it's not already obvious, I'm in love ;) This is my new HG bronzer!!!!! It might be pricey ($45), but so worth every cent.

**Item purchased by me.


Sephora Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof

With summer right around the corner (although with the +90 degree weather here in the south, it already feels like summer) I find myself browsing makeup counters for more "durable" makeup. A few weeks ago, while in Sephora, I noticed the Jumbo Liner 12HR Wear Waterproof eyeshadow pencils.

The pencils come in 14 different colors, and can be used as either an eyeliner or eyeshadow. They are very blendable, and layer very well. The color is a little on the sheer side, but can be layered for more intensity (which I like). The Sephora Jumbo Liners can be compared to Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil. The Urban Decay pencils, however, cost twice as much, and come in 12 shades. I also prefer the Sephora liners, because they don't have glitter flakes as do some of the Urban Decay ones.

Colors L to R: 05 Beige, 04 Taupe, 08 Gold, 10 Green, 14 Violet, 03 Grey
**sorry for images, they were taken with my phone

As far as their lasting power, I have worn these through a day at the pool, 3 straight hours of Zumba (both of which involve wiping my face multiple times), and they held up!! My eyes looked as good after either activity, as they did right after application!! You really can't beat that, especially for $10. My faves are: Taupe, Beige, and Gold---all layered for a neutral smoky eye.

**All items were purchased by me.


Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara Review

Buxom Amplified Lash Mascara is a new mascara released from Bare Escentuals (under Buxom line).  This is a follow-up mascara to their widely popular Buxom Lash mascara.  Buxom Amplified Lash retails for $22.00 USD while the original Buxom Lash costs $18.00 USD.

Buxom Amplified has an innovative, unique brush.  The brush changes in height by turning a dial.  With the brush extended the mascara volumizes and lengthens your lashes.  With the brush compacted, the bristles squeeze together and give your lashes even more volume and fill in between tiny spaces.  Instructions do come with the mascara.  They recommend you use to the extended brush first.  Let it dry, and the turn the dial and compact your brush.  Re-Dip in mascara and apply onto lashes.  

Overall, WOW!  Not only thick lashes, but long too!  The key with the mascara is to let the first coat dry before you move onto the second.  It did clump a little bit, but easily was able to separate lashes.  I am really loving this new mascara and brush! Definitely recommend based on my amazing results.  This product just arrived at my house today, so I will experiment more with the brush in the next couple days.  So far it's amazing!! Has anyone else tried this new brush? 

P.S.  I texted the top picture to two different people - both had the same response.  That my lashes look fake! :)

This was purchased by me.


The Zella Movement at Nordstrom

I just got the scoop on an exciting event coming up at Nordstrom stores nationwide. The Zella Movement is a national day of fitness and fashion. Zella makes amazing activewear for women, and they are partnering with Nordstrom on May 21, 2011 to host fitness events at select stores.

These events will include appx. 60 minutes of activities such as: Zumba, dance, toning exercises, walking, yoga, etc. You will also get a chance to preview the Zella collection in your store! Please visit the Nordstrom website, or call your local Nordstrom store for more details. If you will be in the Raleigh/Durham area, I will be your instructor for the event. Please join me for two of my favorite things, Nordstrom and Zumba!!! I hope you can all make it to one of these events, they are going to be a lot of fun (and how often can you have a workout party in the mall???).


Sephora by OPI Safari Luxe Nail Polish

I went to Sephora this weekend, browsing for new summer nail polish and happened upon the newest Sephora by OPI collection. The Safari Luxe, collection is inspired by trendy animal prints and chic summer accessories. The colors are fun, funky, and perfect for summer!

Bottles and swatches L to R: Don't Feed the Hand Models, Caught With My Khakis Down, Yes Your Lioness, I Don't Bite

Descriptions of the colors included in the Safari Luxe Mini Collection:

  • Don't Feed the Hand Models---opaque, nude. This is the best nude nail color I have ever found!

  • Caught With My Khakis Down--opaque, fatigue green.

  • Yes Your Lioness--bright coral, with a tiny amount of shimmer. Almost a dead-ringer for the new Chanel nail color, Miami Peach, which is a Nieman's exclusive.

  • I Don't Bite--metallic, light violet.

This set is a great value, I love everyone of the colors. I only wish they sold Yes Your Lioness in the full size. Sephora, please, please, release this one in full size. Its so beautiful!

Below, I have swatched one more of the colors from the Safari Luxe Collection (not included in the set), A Color That Can't Be Tamed ($9). It is a beautiful, metallic, mint green. Love!

This is one of my favorite nail polish collections that Sephora/OPI!! I have yet to find a color in this collection that I don't like.

**All polishes were purchased by me.


XEN-TAN Deep Bronze Luxe Premium Sunless Tan

Forever on the quest for a better sunless tanning lotion (i.e. no funky smell, long lasting color, natural tan shade), I decided to check out a new brand at ULTA. Xen-Tan is actually not a new brand, but was not available in any stores in my area until recently. Xen-Tan's Deep Bronze Luxe Premium Sunless Tan promises a "long wearing tan with olive undertones" (yea!), "streak free color", "fresh vanilla scent for face and body".

It sounds perfect, and guess what...............it is!!!! My new self-tan HG! This lotion gave me the most beautiful golden-brown tan, so natural that my husband said I looked I had been at the beach, and was also thrilled that I didn't stink after putting it on (as most self tanning products do). In his defense, he has witnessed me trying a lot of self tanning lotions, sprays, etc., over the years. Xen-Tan really did have a light vanilla smell, and the color was the exact shade that my olive complexion gets in the sun. No orange, and better yet, no streaks. The lotion is tinted, so you can see exactly where you have applied. I applied the lotion following my tips listed here, and got a streak-free golden brown tan, that lasted a full 4 days! Perfect for medium skin tones. And if you are fair Xen-Tan and E! have partnered on a customizable Perfect Blend formula.

The Xen-Tan products start at $30, but I used a 20% off ULTA coupon on mine. Keep you eyes open for future ULTA coupons, it really helps the price point.

This product was purchased by me.


John Frieda 3 Day Straight Review and Pictures

I had my first Brazilian blowout on April 1st.  Natasha had been pressuring me for about a year to try it out.  I have naturally super thick, curly, stubborn red hair.  I have been blow drying and straightening it for years, it was time to try and relax my curls!  I had the quickened 24 hour blowout, where the stylist applies the solution and straightens your hair stick straight.  You cannot get it wet or crinkled for 24 hours, then you can wash your hair with sodium chloride free shampoo and conditioner.  This blowout typically last about 3 months, but depends on how much you shampoo your hair.  I typically shampoo every 3 days (thanks to dry shampoo).  The blowout was amazing!  My hair was not stick straight, but when blow dried out it was nearly perfect.  Once I flat iron, it was smooth and soft.  

About a week ago, I told Natasha I think my blowout was gone already! My frizz free, nearly straight hair, was curly and frizzy, like before!  I have had it only 3 - 4 weeks! This could not be true.  But it is, and I am disappointed because of the big price tag it had cost me ($150.00 USD).

Today, in Target, I spotted a new product from John Frieda, called 3 Day Straight.  Price was $8.99 USD, but on the bottle was a $2.00 off coupon, so I paid $6.99.  This product claims to seal in your straight style for up to 3 days.  I turned the package over and notice that one of the ingredients was Keratin.  Keratin is the main ingredient used in the Brazilian blowout.  Once I knew that this had Keratin in it, I was sold. *All photos were taken with my iPhone, sorry for quality*

Directions were easy.  Just apply 7-15 sprays to wet hair (depends on length and thickness) and comb through with brush.  Then blow-dry and flat iron as usual.  Easy enough!  At first I though my hair felt super sticky while I was drying.  After my hair was completely dry and I flat ironed, it was silky and super straight.  Almost like when I first had the Brazilian done.  

Overall, this worked pretty well - it really did feel like a fresh Brazilian.  The weird texture of my hair was completely gone once it was dry.  I would recommend not putting a lot of product in the hair.  Start with just a couple pumps and build up slowly.  I could see too much of this feeling really sticky.  My hair came out stick straight and feels like it will not frizz.  Only thing I wish was different that instead of lasting only 3 days, that it lasts for 2 weeks or more!  Really good product for us at-home hair straightening girls (and boys!) :).  No need for me to spend $150 + for a salon treatment that only last 1 month.  Definitely recommend.

This product was purchased by me.