Thursday, February 28, 2013

Favorite Product Of The Month - February

Hi lovelies! Now is it me or did February seem to both fly by and take forever at the same time? Just me? Okay. Choosing my favorite product was a no brainer this month because it's something that I've been gravitating towards almost every. single. day. That is this nifty little Ulta eyeshadow in the shade "Twilight". I received this shadow inside one of Ulta's free beauty bag promos along with my purchase.

I must admit, I have not used Ulta eyeshadow in years and quite honestly had I not been sent this shade, I wouldn't have started again. Reason being, Ulta's brand of eyeshadow just always seemed a little lack luster or unexciting to me. Twilight is definitely the exception to that in all of it's odd and interesting goodness; it's a gorgeous shimmery cool toned brown with hints of purple and grey mixed in. The texture will probably be disappointing to some but, I've always liked how hard Ulta's eyeshadows were (The shadow does feel silky to the touch). I don't have many browns in my collection and I certainly don't have any purple or grey browns, except this one which is why I'm in love with the color. My favorite thing about this shade is how it can look completely different depending on the light; it can look completely purple at times, with almost no hint of brown. At other times it can simply look like a frosted brown with no purple tones.

As far as performance, I have no problem with Twilight creasing or fading throughout the day (with my trusty primer of course!) I don't experience any messiness, flaking or fallout. The shadow both applies and blends smoothly but the downside is that, it's not extremely pigmented; I had to swirl my brush several times to the build up the color exactly how I wanted it. This might also be happening because of how hard the shadow is, either way it's not something that bothers me and I will continue to use it. Overall, I think Twilight is a really awesome and interesting shade for my collection but it probably won't be especially unique if you have any other purple/grey brown in your makeup drawer. Personally, it's become one of my go-to crease colors, it's just unique enough to allow my eye makeup to pop and keep it from looking flat or boring. I will be purchasing once this runs out.

Full size retails for $7.00 // 2.4g

You can purchase here

I will be doing a Face of the Day with this eyeshadow soon!

Much love xo

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Torrid Cherry Halter Swimsuit - Review

As much as I love wintertime complete with piles and piles of snow, I can't help but be insanely excited for summer! When Haute Cash rolled around, I purchased my very first swimsuit in YEARS..yes....YEARS (I know! I know!). If you know one thing about me it's that I absolutely adore the 50's. I love pinups, the clothing and just everything about that decade, so much that I even have a gorgeous little pinup tattooed on my arm. When Torrid started releasing their swimwear a few weeks ago, I immediately had my eye on this retro inspired cherry number. Since I haven't worn a swimsuit in years, I was a bit hesitant on what size to purchase. I normally wear a size 3 top in Torrid clothing but I can wear up to a size 5 depending on what the item is, I ended up playing it safe and ordering a size 4.

Photo courtesy of

Now, as much as I love the swimsuit there is one thing that I do not like...there is absolutely no breast support whatsoever. None, zip, nada! Since Torrid is a plus sized company and more often than not, plus sized lovelies have larger busts; I cannot fathom why they would make any sort of bra type item without chest support in some form. I know that the function of a swimsuit is to swim and not necessarily look glamorous but for us lovelies with larger busts, breast support is not only wanted, it is a necessity! So due to this oversight on Torrid's part, I will most likely end up installing my own chest support although I'm not quite sure what yet. Had I known this suit didn't offer any support beforehand, I probably would have purchased from Lane Bryant which has quite a few pieces with built in bras, check them out here.

Apart from lacking in the support department, I love everything else about the swimsuit. It's stretchy, comfy and it allows me to move without feeling constricted. My favorite thing is just how comfortable it really is. From what I can remember of past swimsuits, they always felt skin tight, were very hard to get on and off and just an all around pain in my butt! Since the material is so stretchy (it was more than enough to cover my belly!) I recommend purchasing in your normal Torrid size.

For some reason, Torrid claims that this swimsuit will slim and shape your body. While the cut of the suit along with the midsection detailing does help you to achieve that famous flattering retro shape, the material is just too stretchy to have any sort of slimming capability.

All things considered, I cannot wait for summer to arrive. My goal is to get as much sun, waves and wear out of this swimsuit as humanly possible, I can feel the sand in my toes already! So here's to an awesome summer now complete with the almost perfect piece.

This swimsuit retails for $68.50 and can be purchased here

Check out other Torrid swimwear here

Check out Lane Bryant swimwear here

Much love xo

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Birchbox February

It's that time again lovelies, Birchbox time! After seeing the sneak peek video for this month, I was so sure that Birchbox was going to knock this month out of the park for me. They didn't but, the stuff that I did receive was pretty good. Nevertheless, my box did have a few hiccups. I received Box 1 again this month which contained:

  • Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips
  • Skin&Co Bagnodoccia Body Gel
  • Color Club Nail Lacquer (Wild Cactus)
  • Twistband Thick Headband (Black) 
  • Ghirardelli Caramel Chocolate Square

I was excited for the Dr. Lipp because of it's multi-tasking properties. From your nips to your lips, dry skin and cuticles, it seemed like it would be an all around great thing. Well, it is a good product but not great. My frustration first started with the sample size, the tube is very small and on top of that, the tube that I received was basically empty; a thumb nail worth of product and that's about it. Since the balm is so thick (100% natural lanolin) it was very hard to squeeze out of the tube and I had to completely flatten it just to get anything out. As far as performance, it did hydrate my lips pretty decently and made them soft but since the price is $14.50 for only 0.507 oz (15ml) of product, I would try to find a cheaper alternative. I wish I could have tried this on my cuticles but, I just didn't have enough product.

The largest sample in my box was the Body&Co body gel (Olive & Sicilian Orange extracts + vitamin C) The scent is one of those things that you either love or you hate. Personally, I'm on the fence. It's not a bad smell but, it's something that I have to get used to since I'm more of a light scent lover. This gel has a very strong, musky scent that almost leans more to the "manly" side rather than unisex. The scent lingered on my skin after my shower but it was much milder and a lot more pleasant. Aside from the scent, I did enjoy the body gel/wash, it lathered up extremely well even without using much product and it left my skin feeling pretty good. It was not nourishing to my skin even though it contains olive oil but, it did not dry my skin out either. Overall, my skin was left feeling pleasant enough that I didn't feel the need to run and apply body butter. Full size is $17.50 // 8.45 oz (250 ml)

I must admit, at first I was not exactly happy with receiving a green nail polish. My comfort zone has always been black, red or nude nails but, I am happy that I received this after seeing it in person. I've been using it on the tips of my nails and I really love it since it's so different from anything that I own. I have never been impressed with the Color Club brand in general, the few that I have received always chipped beyond belief within a day or two. I must say though, this is the best formula that I've encountered with them. Application is very smooth and is completely opaque in two coats. I personally still won't be purchasing from Color Club but I do look forward to possibly receiving more of their polishes in the future, especially if they have this new formula. Full size is $8 // 0.5 oz (15ml) (Cheaper at other retailers)

Oh Twistband, you keep appearing in my boxes! The biggest dud in my box this month was the Twistband "thick" headband. Just like the Color Club polish, I was not thrilled at receiving yet another Twistband item in my box but, I had plans to use it while washing my face if nothing else. The performance of this headband was just terrible. I could barely move my head without it slipping and sliding all over the place; I had to re-adjust multiple times before I finally gave up and took it off. On top of that, Birchbox claims that these headbands will not leave a crease behind. Well, let me be the first to dispel that claim. The headband not only left a crease, it left a very noticeable DENT in my hair. Set of 6 // $20

To all my chocolate lovers, let's be honest, I'm sure we all enjoyed receiving this little chocolate extra in our boxes. While Ghirardelli is obviously cheap chocolate, it was tasty nonetheless and I enjoyed it.

Overall, this was a nice box for me; it absolutely could have been better but I'm content with what I received. Had my Dr. Lipp tube been properly filled, I would have been much happier. I wish that Birchbox would monitor the samples better so that customers do not consistently receive dud samples like my Dr. Lipp. Quite a few people have reported on MakeupTalk that they have received completely empty Vasanti and Dr. Jart samples. I do realize that some things are always going to slip through but, we shouldn't be seeing the same problems every single month.

Looking forward to March!

Much love xo

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

RiRi Hearts MAC!

Awesome news for all of the Rihanna lovers out there, throughout 2013 Rihanna will be collaborating with MAC to release four collections, my guess will be one per season. The most exciting news of all is the special re-vamped Ruby Woo lipstick, entitled "RiRi Woo". Since I do not yet have Ruby Woo in my collection, I'm seriously excited to see how RiRi Woo will turn out, if this is the lipstick pictured in the photo above, it looks like a gorgeous blackened red.

As far as I know, the upcoming collection pieces will be available both online and her concerts, I'm not sure yet if anything will be available in MAC stores but, any new information that I find out will be added to this post. As of right know, I know that the collections will include RiRi Woo + additional lipsticks, luster drops, blush, a special RiRi Woo lipglass, eyelashes, eyeshadows and nail lacquers for a total of 31 products.

Personally, I can't wait for RiRi Woo, if it does turn out to be a blackened red and not a plum color. I cannot wait! Look for the first release, which will be the RiRi Woo lipstick in May, available online and at upcoming concerts.

Update: RiRi Woo will be sold in all four collections, so don't fret because you will have multiple chances to pick it up.

Update: Two collections WILL be available in store. The other two will be available online.

Photo is from Google Images & MAC Cosmetics

Much love xo

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Making My Very Own "BB Cream"

The hype over BB creams has been absolutely insane lately. Almost every major cosmetic brand and even some smaller ones have jumped on the coveted BB train; some brands have even gone so far as to re-package their already existing foundations and tinted moisturizers as BB creams. Crazy right? Well what if I told you that making your very own BB cream was as easy as combining some of the products that are already present in your makeup drawer?

If you're new to the BB craze, here's a little backstory. BB creams originated in Asia as an all-in-one or multi-purpose beauty product, the purpose being to make your skin look flawless by using less individual products, therefore saving you both time and money. These traditional BB creams contain foundation, sunblock, moisturizer, primer and sometimes a serum and some sort of skin whitening agent. The one flaw? They come in an EXTREMELY limited shade range, only two different shades at the very most. Naturally, once the BB craze came to America, the limited shades had to change and that's where everything else changed as well. American "BB creams" are hugely different from the original ones, to the point that they are really just tinted moisturizers and nothing more. They often don't contain any of the ingredients that made the original BB's so famous. Now, that doesn't mean that they're bad products, they just aren't on the same level that BB creams are known for.

As a person with dark acne scars, I've always been intrigued by BB creams but since I don't wear foundation they were a no for me. I do however use moisturizer, primer and pore filler so why not combine them? And that my friends is how it all started, my very own BB cream for my skintone and skin needs with no shopping or trying out additional products needed.

Please excuse my dry hands!

Always start with clean hands and materials! You can make this mixture in a jar, on a palette or the back of your hand. I don't have specific ingredient amounts, everything is completely custom and the amounts depend on what you specifically need for your skin.

Step 1: Start with your everyday moisturizer. I used my AHAVA Time To Hydrate and since I have combination to dry skin, I used more moisturizer than any other ingredient.

Step 2: Add your foundation. Since I don't use foundation, I used my trusty NYX Pore Filler which is tinted.

Step 3: Add your primer. The NYX Pore Filler is already considered a primer but for the extra oomph I added a bit of Smashbox Photo Finish (clear).

Step 4: Adding a serum. This is completely optional. I prefer my "BB cream" with just steps 1, 2 and 3 but, if you want to stick with the traditional route of using a serum, I added just a touch of my Philosophy Miracle Worker Anti-Aging Serum. I prefer my mixture without this because it's a lot less heavy.

Step 5: Adding SPF/Sunblock.This step is also completely optional. If neither your moisturizer or foundation contain SPF, you can add a touch of sunblock.

Step 6: Mix well.

So there you have it, I made my very own custom BB with ingredients that I already owned, used and were familiar with. The greatest thing is that no matter what ingredients or products that you use for your own mixture, you have peace of mind knowing exactly what you're using and you have the freedom to control the amount of everything. The final result of me using steps 1, 2 and 3 was a very light, silky mixture that made my skin look flawless and feel incredibly soft. Try it and see what works best for you!

As with anything, take caution and if any irritation occurs, stop.

Much love xo

Thursday, February 14, 2013

MAC Marilyn Coming Back?

News has never made me so happy! Is it true? (Cue shameless Kel Mitchell orange soda love) Well, sources over at Specktra (specifically Mac-Guy) have posted that MAC may be/will be releasing Marilyn again sometime later this year. As of right now I have no idea whether these will be all new items or the same items from the first collection but, you can be sure that I will be all over any new info that comes out. Personally, if this collection does indeed happen I would LOVE to see Scarlet Ibis again since that is my all time favorite lipstick (You can never go wrong with back-ups!). I have faith in MAC that this will turn out to be an all new collection, MAC is known for re-promotes but I doubt they would release the same collection twice. Who knows? If they decide to release Marilyn Part 2 and go with creating all new products, what colors and products would you like to see? Comment below!

I will be updating this post as new info becomes available

Big thanks to Specktra and Mac-Guy for this info!

Check out my review of Scarlet Ibis here

Much love & Happy Valentine's Day xo

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics - NSFW Lip Tar

Lovelies! You all know that I'm a HUGE fan of lipsticks, reds being my absolute fave. Ever since I started on my red lip journey, I've had a bit of trouble finding my perfect red. Some have been complete duds and some have been close but no cigar. Well, I. have. found. it....The absolute perfect red for me, my dream red and it's all thanks to this little lip tar. I've known about Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics for awhile now but, I honestly never paid much attention to the brand until I ran into an insanely awesome girl by the name of Delilah wearing this (YOU ROCK!). As soon as I got the chance I hopped on over to OCC's website and since then I've been in complete lip tar obsession mode. I fell in love with this color, NSFW and I have future plans to pick up Harlot.

Even though I had heard great things, I of course wanted to try it out before I bought it. Luckily, Sephora happened to carry this color. All of the Sephora's in my area have a very limited selection, only three to four colors and there were only two or so of each tube so definitely be sure to call and check before going.

I have to say, never in my life have I experienced so much pure saturated color in a lip product. I mean honestly, these lip tars are pure pigment just as OCC describes them. I have to be honest I did not for a second believe the claims of only needing a drop of product but, I truly only needed just a drop and it spread like buttah! Be careful not to over apply unless you enjoy lip color on your teeth...and all over your face. If you've ever used Mehron color cups on your lips, then this has a very similar texture although the lip tars are runny and the color cups are a bit more solid. Since the lip tars are very runny in texture and the colors are so concentrated, you absolutely without a doubt need to use some sort of lip primer unless you apply this product very sheer. I used my MAC Prep + Prime with this and it worked beautifully, the color stuck extremely well. Keep in mind that because of the lip tars texture, you NEED to use a lip brush (a small lip brush is included!) to get the most precision and best final result, if you don't then it will smear like a total bitch and end up absolutely everywhere. This color lasted 4+ hours and even once the initial color wore away it left a very vivid almost purple tinted stain. The lip tars dry to a semi-glossy finish, if you would prefer a matte finish like myself, all it takes is a little bit of blotting.

These lip tars contain: Vitamin E, Peppermint Oil and Hemp Oil as well as, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Propylene Carbonate | May Contain: Silica Dimethyl Silylate, D&C Red #6, D&C Red #7, D&C Red #27, D&C Red #30, FD&C Blue #1, FD&C Yellow #5, FD&C Yellow #6, Iron Oxides, Titanium Dioxide and Mica

The peppermint oil might be my only dislike since I have never been a fan of lip products that contain mint. I have never enjoyed the smell but thankfully the lip tars are very mild and I can easily overlook it. I still have to get used to the tingling feeling of the peppermint though.

Overall, this is absolutely my new favorite red, it's the perfect true red for my skintone and unlike a lot of my other reds, it doesn't lose it's color and turn fuchsia on my lips. As far as the lip tars themselves, they are an absolutely wonderful product and my only regret is that I didn't try them sooner! Just be sure to take your time with applying these and you won't have any issues.

OCC's Lip Tars retail for $16.00 and contain 0.33 oz of product. The coolest thing of all? All of their cosmetics are one hundred percent vegan and cruelty free.

You can check out Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics here
Check out Sephora's online selection of lip tars here

Much love xo

Saturday, February 9, 2013

MAC Archie's Girls - Update

Hey lovelies! In case anyone is currently waiting for me to do a review on anything from this collection, I won't be. I went to MAC on the 7th (release date) to check out everything from the collection and I even planned on purchasing Veronica's Ronnie Red lipstick but, it turned out to be extremely similar to Absolute Power from the strength collection, just as I had feared it would. So because of that, it just wasn't worth buying for me since the two lipsticks are basically dupes in my eyes, the difference is just noticeable. I strongly encourage anyone that missed out on Absolute Power to pick up Ronnie Red.

Sadly, I don't have any pictures of the MAC's in store Archie's Girls setup whatsoever. By the time I got to the mall my phone had died :( Everything was extremely cute though, they definitely went all out. From workers wearing special tee shirts to even a few special tables, it was all setup quite nicely! Once again, well done MAC.

I am quite disappointed though, I was really looking forward to this collection ever since it was first announced. I can't wait to see posts and pictures from my fellow bloggers though because even though the collection just didn't suit me, I can't wait to see it on you all!

Check out my review on Absolute Power here

Photo is courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Much love xo

Baggu Backpack - A Review

What do you do when you have Birchbox points that are about to expire and you still haven't cashed them in? IMPULSE BUY! I'm kidding of course but no seriously, my points were about to expire but, nothing on the site caught my eye until I saw this bag. I had been looking for a new one for school since the strap and lining on my six year old messenger bag finally called it quits. I was looking for something comfortable, preferably just a little trendy and large enough to hold my art supplies, fabric and just hopefully, my laptop as well. After cashing in my points and also getting free shipping, I paid an astronomical $4 for my purchase.

Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters (Navy color)
The bag arrived nice and on time, and even through I'm not exactly thrilled on how Birchbox shipped it (not wrapped in anything, folded multiple times and crammed into a box entirely too small) I guess that's what one can expect with free shipping. The bag hit almost all of the points that I was on the market for except being able to carry my laptop, it fell about two inches short. If you have a laptop smaller than my gigantic 17.5 then it will be absolutely perfect, I still love the bag despite that. The backpack is made from 100% recycled canvas and feels very sturdy and well made, that will definitely be put to the test once I take it to class a few times. I really enjoy the fact that the bag is made from recycled material because even though it's small, it's still a contribution to the environment. Baggu even offers a service, if you return your worn out bag to them, they will give you $1.00 towards your next purchase. While I don't think that's much of an incentive for you to go out of your way for, it's something I suppose and that's better than nothing.

Unless you have points to redeem like I did, I suggest purchasing the bags directly from Baggu or Urban Outfitters, as they have a much wider color selection. Currently, Birchbox is only offering navy and white. I chose navy and I really like it, the color has a worn in vibe to it. I can't wait to put my own little personal touch on the bag though, I have a few ideas but I haven't decided on anything concrete as of yet, it is a "canvas" after all. -Cheesy pun intended.

The backpack has a total of three compartments. The first is a zippered outside covering about 1/3 of the front of the bag. It's enough space to carry my "quick grab" essentials like gum, phone, wallet, etc. The other two are on the inside, a small non zippered space at the top and the rest is empty space inside of the backpack. While the bag as a whole isn't the largest or the roomiest, it is just the right size for all of my daily class supplies plus a few extras like my makeup bag, lunch and reading material.

Overall, had I seen this bag in stores I honestly probably wouldn't have chosen it because it doesn't stand out but I really am happy with my purchase. It's lightweight, comfortable and easily customizable. My only downsides are the limited number of compartments, it has two (inside and outside) and the price, at $34 for a small backpack it can be a bit pricey but considering similar backpacks are the same price if not more expensive I can let that go. The bonus is that it is eco-friendly being made out of 100% recycled material and that is good enough for me.

Backpack measurements: 16 inches high and 10 inches wide

This back is currently on sale at Urban Outfitters for $24, here

This backpack can also be purchased here and here

Note: This backpack is not to be confused with the daypack that Baggu also offers, the daypack is smaller, cheaper and made of different material.

Much love xo