Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bye Bye Loves: Face and Body Product Reviews

Bye Bye Loves are not all loves... sometimes there are duds. But, these are honest reviews on products that I have used in their entirety or in rare cases, products I could not stand to use and go straight to the trash.

You can also check out my first Bye Bye Loves post HERE.

So, these empty bottles have been kicking around for a while, waiting to be blogged about!  This trio is actually the center of my Fall skincare routine... oopsie!  Sorry it took me so long!

Basis Comfortably Clean Face Wash - This was a gift with purchase that I got from a while back.  When I went to the website for pricing info, I saw they now have a new version available. It is 6 fl. oz. and $5.49.  
I think this is a good cleanser for the price.  It did a great job at removing makeup, including eye makeup.  It left my skin feeling clean, but not tight or dry.  If you are looking for a good cleanser on a budget I would strongly recommend this!  It is the best cleanser I have tried in this price range. That being said, face care is an area where I don't mind splurging and there are high end cleansers that I like better so I won't be rushing to repurchase this one.

Lush Breath of Fresh Air - 8.4 fl.oz. $19.95
This is a skin toner suitable for all skin types. Lush makes 2 other toners like this one, one for dry skin and the other for oily skin. My skin is usually in the normal to combination range so I decided to give this one a try first.  I really like it!  It has seaweed and aloe vera and it just feels really soothing and refreshing.  I typically just spray it on my face after cleansing.  On a lazy night where I use a makeup wipe instead of a cleanser, I will spray it on a cotton round and then rub the cotton round on my face.  It removes any remaining dirt or makeup as well as the residue some makeup wipes leave behind.  I just recently repurchased Breath of Fresh Air while in England. 

Bare Minerals Purely Nourishing Moisturizer for Dry Skin - 1.7oz. $28
I love this moisturizer and everything Bare Escentuals!  When they first launched this skin care line, this moisturizer for dry skin was their only moisturizer and I had to try it.  I started using it in the fall and my skin gets dry in the winter so it was good timing.  The texture was perfect, not too thick, it was easily absorbed into the skin. I used it religiously morning and night because I loved the way it made my skin feel.  My makeup applied easily over it, even better really because it left my skin so smooth.  And while I normally don't like to be able to smell my face care products, this one has a really nice, light fragrance.    I have quite a few different moisturizers stashed away to try out, but I already repurchased this one. I love it that much.  It might be a bit much for my skin in the summer months, but for the rest of the year this moisturizer is amazing! I highly recommend it to anyone with normal to dry skin.

Dove Burst Nectarine & White Ginger Antiperspirant Deodorant - $3.99 varies by drugstore
I will only use Dove deodorants.  It took me forever to find one that worked for me and didn't leave me dry, irritated or itchy.  I sometimes switch up the scent to try something new, but Burst is my favorite and I always go back to it. I have and will continue to repurchase... obviously :)

Imaginez Peach Body Cream - Full Size 6.7oz. $15
I have so many travel sizes and I very rarely travel!  This is a mini that I got in a set when this line was sold on HSN.  This cream had a nice light peach fragrance and was easily absorbed into the skin.  It was moisturizing and didn't leave my skin feeling greasy or sticky after.  It was nice, but peach isn't really my thing.  It was part of a set and I did like the other fragrance choices better.  I won't be repurchasing this one.

C.O. Bigelow Lemon Body Cream - Full Size 8oz. $19.50
I really love this cream and I purchased a few of these travel sizes when I saw them on sale.  The scent is lovely.  It is a very fresh, crisp, natural lemon scent.  It is a really rich, moisturizing cream and it does leave my skin feeling a little bit greasy so I usually use it before bed.  I like using this on my driest areas, like feet and elbows.  I have a few more so I don't need to repurchase it now, but I will again.

Bath and Body Works Marshmallow Anti-bacterial Foam Soap - $5
I really like sweet, foody scents and this one is amazing! It is so amazing that I didn't even mind having this Halloween soap bottle in my bathroom all through November.  Honestly, if I could get my hands on another bottle I would put it in my bathroom right now! I prefer the deep cleansing formula, but for this fragrance I will take the foaming formula.  I must remember to snatch up a few of these in the fall :)

Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel Shower Gel - Holiday Collection
I am embarrassed to show you this one! It is so old! But I used it up, finally :)  I love the lotion in this scent, but it does not translate as well in the Shower Gel.  I think that is why this one sat in my stash closet so long.  I finally used it up by using it as a bubble bath.  It was nice, moisturizing and made a good amount of bubbles for a shower gel.  I purchase the lotion every year, but I won't get the shower gel again.

It has been a while since my last Bye Bye Loves post so I have accumulated quite a few! I am splitting them into 2 posts. Stay tuned for my Makeup & Candle Bye Bye Loves post!

Have you tried any of these items? How did you like them?

Do you plan on purchasing any of these?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wedding Weekly: Veil (Nail Challenge Week 2) AND My First Stamping Attempt!

Here it is! My very first attempt at stamping :) I was pretty pleased! It was super easy. The design didn't fully transfer on a couple nails, but not too bad for my first try.

I used a *really* old L'Oreal Sheer Beige and NYC French Tip White.

I used 3 coats of Sheer Beige.  It has a nice subtle shimmer that is more visible wet than dry, but you can see it a bit in this photo.  In most light it just looks like a creme, though.

This was my very first nail.  The complete design didn't transfer, but this was just about the placement I was going for.  I wanted this little starbursts to represent the beading I had on the edge of my veil so I wanted to stamp them on the edge/corner of my nail.

But, on my second stamp my placement was way off, so the design became random :/  I still like it, though.  After I took these photos, I added a clear top coat and it looks even better.

I don't have a lot of photos with my veil on, but I love this one.  Me with my four little sisters :)

In his photo you can see the beading detail on the edges a little.  Thats what I was going for with this mani.  The little starbursts were supposed to be the beads on the edge, but since this was my first stamping attempt, my placement was not the greatest. 

I hope you are enjoying these Wedding Weekly Challenges created by Pink by Stephanie!  I know I am!  It is fun to share more personal photos with you. You can still join in!

Check out what Pink By Stephanie did this week for this challenge.

- Link to your blog all the participants
- Be creative (You can use any technique) 
- Post the image of inspiration for all of us to see!  
- Share a little story about your day (optional) 
- Most importantly HAVE FUN WITH IT! 

Salon Express Nail Art Stamping Kit! Hello Lover!

Every time I go to Rite Aid I swing by the As Seen on TV section to see if they have the Salon Express stamping kit and today was my lucky day!

Does anyone remember the episode of Sex in the City where Carrie sees a pair of shoes in a store window, stops in her tracks and says, "Hello Lover!"?  I think that every time I see something I love or have been searching for. On occasion, I have even said it out loud :)

It is sold at Rite Aid for $9.99, but with my rewards card I got mine for $8.99.

I have read that some people got plates in this kit that differ from the photos on the packaging, but mine were the same.  The only thing I am kinda bummed about is the plate with the square all over images.  My nails are not super long, but they seem longer that the design on the plate to I don't know how that one will work out, but we'll see.  Maybe with some finesse I can make it work.  It certainly won't be the first one I try!

I can't wait to get stamping!  I plan on using a light, neutral, or nude color for my first attempt so its not too flashy in case it comes out poorly.  But, I promise to show you my first attempt results either way :)

Stay tuned!

Do you do stamping nail art?

Have you tried this Salon Express Kit?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

My First Julep Maven Box! It Girl Intro Box (April)

My very first Julep Maven Box arrived today!  Earlier I posted about the 1¢ promotion that Julep is running now to new members. Click Here to view that blog post. For only 1¢ I simply could not resist trying it out!

I chose the It Girl Introductory Box. The profile poll on Julep's site suggested it to me and when I looked at the others, It Girl was the only one that came with 3 polishes instead of 2 polishes and a hand care product.

The packaging was very cute.  And, who can't use another nail file?

Heather - Helena - Mandy
The card included describes the polishes as...
Heather - Chic platinum greige with a metallic glow
Helena - Ultra-sturated fuchsia
Mandy - Fresh, bright, deep coral pink

Helena & Mandy are beautiful, but Heather is the one that I'm most interested in.  In the bottle (and my cheater swatches below) it seems to shift between platinum and a browned pewter depending on the light.  I can't wait to see it on my nails! It might be my next mani :)

I did a little cheater swatch on the card that came in the box :)

Indoors - No Flash

Indoors - Flash
Between the 2 photos above, Heather changes the most when the lighting changes.  The consistency of the polish seems great and I can't wait to try these out!

Have you tried Julep polishes or their Maven program?  

Do you have a favorite Julep polish?

If you want to try the Julep Maven Box the promo is still running. First time members can get their first box for only 1¢ and you can cancel anytime. Click Here and enter COLORS4ONE at checkout.

The link does give me credit toward a future free box. Part of their program is that you get a free box for every 2 friends you refer. So, when you sign up you will get your own link, too. If you don't want to follow that link you can still go to and enter the code above at checkout for the same discount :)  And, Julep Maven members get a 20% discount on all purchases and free shipping.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Oxford Haul: Topshop Polish & Socks :)

While walking around Oxford I saw a Topshop, grabbed my boyfriend's hand and pulled him straight for it! I have seen some of their polishes on blogs and I really wanted to get a few while I was visiting England.  Once inside, I found the polishes and there was not a huge selection, but I was instantly in love with Hidden Treasure.  I told my boyfriend to pick out another shade for me. I should add that he is amazing, a good sport who will amuse himself for as long as it takes me in any beauty store.  He chose Mercury Miasma.

Hidden Treasure & Mercury Miasma

I love them both! I wore Mercury Miasma to the wedding we went to the next day and regret not photographing it! Next time... this one is much nicer on my nails than it is is the bottle. And, it wore really well. No chips, just gradual tip wear.

And, do you want to know a secret?
On most days, I am wearing crazy socks!  I don't know why. I just love me some cute, fun socks! And these are super cute & fun! And, they were 3 for £8.

Have you tried any topshop polishes? I was hoping to pick up some more on my trip, but we never crossed paths again.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wedding Weekly: Wedding Dress (Nail Challenge Week 1)

All Sinful Colors: 2 coats Tokyo Pearl, 2 coats Smoking Hot, 1 coat Queen of Beauty on accent nail

Pink by Stephanie started Nail Polish Challenge called Wedding Weekly. This is the first challenge I have joined. It is just once a week, so its a great first challenge if anyone else wants to join in! I also love the challenges AND I'm going to a wedding today so its perfect :)

- Link to your blog all the participants
- Be creative (You can use any technique) 
- Post the image of inspiration for all of us to see!  
- Share a little story about your day (optional) 
- Most importantly HAVE FUN WITH IT! 

All Sinful Colors: 2 coats Tokyo Pearl, 2 coats Smoking Hot, 1 coat Queen of Beauty on accent nail
My wedding dress was white satin with a beaded bodice. I also had the train beaded to match the bodice and I love how it came out! I used Tokyo Pearl for the white satin and I layered Smoking Hot over it to mimic the beading.  Smoking Hot only added a subtle shimmer, so I decided to do an accent nail with Queen of Beauty to bling it up a bit!
All Sinful Colors: Tokyo Pearl, Smoking Hot, Queen of Beauty
My inspiration for this week's challenge is my wedding dress.

I am now divorced... just in case my previous mentions of my boyfriend now confuse you! My wedding day was beautiful and I enjoyed looking through my photos again. I hope you enjoy them and the photos to come with the future challenges!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sinful Colors NEW Energetic Red! Swatches

I bought quite a few new Sinful Colors polishes this week! Rite Aid is having a buy 1 get 1 50% off sale, plus when you buy 2 you get a $2 +up reward, and they have a bunch of new colors so I couldn't resist!

I am loving this color! This is one coat of Energetic Red 1122 with no top coat.  It is a beautiful, bright, orange red, perfect for Summer! I love this as a mani and I can't wait to try it out on my toes! What a perfect pedi color! I think it will be even more lovely once I get a bit of a tan.

This photo is in natural light.

 I found Energetic Red in the Wow! Pop! display at my Rite Aid. The display also had Big Daddy 850 which is also part of the regular line and I picked that up too. In person, there is more of a difference between the two than there is in the photo above. Energetic Red is more of an orangey Red and Big Daddy is a redish Orange.

Very Bright Sunlight - Energetic Red 1 coat, Big Daddy 3 coats, Energetic Red 1 coat

Indirect Sunlight - Energetic Red 1 coat, Big Daddy 3 coats, Energetic Red 1 coat
The formula is quite different. Energetic Red is opaque with one coat while Big Daddy is very sheer. At 3 coats I still had a visible nail line. As the color builds, it does look more and more similar to Energetic Red, only very slightly more orange. Indoors, you really can't tell the two apart unless you are really trying.  The difference in opacity gives it away.  Outdoors, in the sun, you can see the difference in color.  They each have a place in my collection, though.  I will probably use Big Daddy for layering (I smell a jelly sandwich! haha) and I will wear Energetic Red more on its own.

I also picked these up from the Be Fierce Display. They look similar to the Nicki Minaj Collection, but I do not yet have those polishes so I can't say if they are dupes.  The glitter certainly is not a dupe and it is also part of Sinful Colors regular line.

I can't wait to try these out and show you swatches!

What do you think? Have you tried any of the New Sinful Colors polishes?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Julep Maven Box for 1¢!!! Too good to pass up!

I just ordered my first Julep Maven Box! They are having an amazing promotion right now for first time members where your first box is only 1¢ an you can cancel any time. That is too good for me to pass up!  If you want to try the Julep Maven program click here and enter COLORS4ONE at checkout.

The link does give me credit toward a future free box. Part of their program is that you get a free box for every 2 friends you refer. So if you don't want to follow that link you can still go to and enter the code above at checkout for the same discount :)

And, Julep Maven members get a 20% discount on all purchases.

I'm very excited to try Julep polish! Have you tried it? Is it good? At least worth 1¢ I'm sure!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Nails Inc. Magnetic Polish: Trafalgar Square Swatches

My very first magnetic polish! Nails Inc. Trafalgar Square

I actually purchased it a couple months ago, but never used it! woopsie! I have since purchased 2 magnetic polishes from China Glaze and I am excited to see how they compare.

The magnet is a wave pattern and is housed in the removable cap. It also has a little lip to rest on your finger that makes it easier to hold the magnet close to your wet polish without touching it, which I still did a couple times!
one coat - before magnetic effect
I first painted all of my nails with one coat of Trafalgar Square. The first coat was a bit streaky with a few bald spots.  I then applied a second coat to one nail at a time and held the magnet over the wet polish for about 20 seconds.  The second coat smoothed everything out and covered nice and evenly.  I was also really impressed with the magnet!  The design came out crisp and clear every time. Without the magnetic effect, this is not a polish I would wear... I think ever.  Silver frost is not my jam! It is amazing what a difference a little magnet can make!

I love how it turned out! The design also seems to shift a bit as you move your hand.  Hard to describe and impossible to capture in photos! Well, maybe you can see it if you look at the difference in my pointer finger in the photos above and below.

My only criticism of this polish, and all magnetic polishes, is the magnet.  I have very curved nail beds and the magnet is flat, so the design does not reach the sides of my nails as you can see best in the photo above.  The effect is still cool, but I think it would look much better if it reached across my entire nail.  So, those of you with flatter nail beds might fare better with these magnetic polishes.

Have you tried magnetic polishes?

What is your favorite brand to use?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

London Boots Haul

This was my last Boots Haul while I was in England and I made it count! 

These are my first 3 Models Own polishes! I bought Aqua Violet Beetle Juice, Purple Haze & Indian Ocean. I can't wait to try these out! And, they were buy 2 get 1 free!

I couldn't resist the Soap & Glory promotion... again :)  I bought both of the Eau de toilettes for £16.50 each and I got the 2 Foam Call Body Washes free!

I'm not sure what it was about this that spoke to me in store except that I love coconut & body scrubs!

Have you tried any of these? I am still only partially unpacked and haven't tried any of them yet!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sinful Colors Flirting Nails 808

 This is Sinful Colors Flirting Nails. I normally am not really into frosty polishes, but this one must have spoken to me in the store because it found it's way home with me and has been one of my untried polishes in my collection for a while now.
I have been wearing a lot of bold and unusual colors recently, so when I approached my wall of polishes I was looking for something in the neutral realm so Flirting Nails got its chance :)

What do you think? I ended up really liking it!  I think this color is a great nude choice for my skin tone.  My usual problem with frost polishes is the visible brush strokes, but I did not have that issue with this polish. I loved the color and the frost finish just made this pink champagne polish more shiny and fun.

What is your go to Nude polish?