Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day Mani with my January Julep Maven Box - Madison and Grace Swatches

Happy Valentine's Day!
This is the simple, easy mani I am rockin' for Valentine's Day!  I decided to break into my January Julep Maven Box for this look and then I added 1 coat of OPI Nothin' Mousie Bout It from the Minnie Mouse Collection to my ring finger.  Keep reading if you want to see everything I got in my January Julep Maven Box :)

January was all about Neons and Nudes and I chose the Classic with a Twist Box this month.
These are the free extras included for the month.  The neon hair ties are fun and I can always use more hair ties. But, I was really excited about the Swatch Me stickers! All of the new bottles of polish come with these stickers on the tops of the lids.  So, I can use these stickers on the polishes I have already.  It is a great idea.  I store my polishes vertically and now I can see the color I want quickly.

All of the Maven selections (aside from The It Girl) came with a Hand and Cuticle Stick.  The Classic With A Twist came with Madison and Grace.
Julep says...
Madison - Electric Neon Hot Pink Creme
Grace - Classic 'go-to' Light Pink Sheer

The Hand and Cuticle Stick is really nice.  It is very soft and melts right into my skin.  It smells good too, although I can't quite put my finger on the scent.  The only thing I don't like is the packaging.  It is a lot of packaging for the product which seems to be in the top 1/3 of the tube.

I used 3 coats of each polish with no top coat so you can see the finish.  You can see Madison is not quite matte, kind of a vinyl looking finish.  Madison is looking just a bit more red here than in does irl. It is an interesting color that dances the line between red/orange/coral/pink depending on the lighting.  I really like it.  It is going to be amazing for the summer months! I can't wait for the warm weather!  
Grace is a sheer light pink, perfect for french manis or jelly sandwiches.  It is not a color I would wear alone to I decided to jazz it up a bit by adding 1 coat of OPI Nothin' Mousie Bout It from the Minnie Mouse Collection.  It is perfect for Valentine's Day!

Right now you can join the Julep Maven monthly subscription program for FREE!  First time members can get their first box for only FREE by Clicking Here, choose which intro box you want and enter FREEBOX at checkout. The links included are my referral links.  When you sign up you get one too and you can earn credits for more free polish :)

What are you wearing for Valentine's Day?  Post your links in the comments! I would love to see your VDay manis :)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bye Bye Loves November and December 2012

Even though I took a brief blogging hiatus, I was still stashing away my empties :) I thought that I better break these up into 2 posts, though so these are all of the products I used up in November & December...

Yes to Cucumbers Soothing Facial Towelettes - 10ct. $2.99
I got this little pack in my IPSY Glam Bag back in July and they finally made it into the rotation :)  Click Here for my post with my reviews of everything I got in that Glam Bag.  I really liked the fresh cucumber scent and they did a great job of removing my makeup.  I wish the cloth was textured, but I always say that.  Does anyone else prefer a textured cloth for their facial towelettes?

Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Orange Ginger Hand Soap - 8fl.oz. $5.50
This is still available and Bath and Body works, but repackaged.  It has a bright, citrus fragrance that I like to use in the kitchen or the bathroom.  It is one of my favorites because it is a gender neutral scent.  It is man friendly, one of Mr.BeautyScraps favorites :)  It is also a nice option for those who do not want an anti-bacterial soap.

Wei to go Beauty: Real Clean and Ideal Skin - 
I got this in my September Birchbox. Click Here for a full review and to see everything I got in that box.  Bottom line, I liked the products, but not the packaging. The Real Clean Gelled Oil Cleanser is sold in a package of three .5oz tubes for $26 and the Ideal Skin Perfect Finish CC Cream is sold in a package of three .33oz resealable packets for $30.  They are perfect for travel, I just wish they were also sold in regular packaging.  I would certainly buy the cleanser.  Maybe they will in the future.  They are no longer available on, but you can find them at

Physicians Formula Talc Free Mineral Wear Correcting Powder: Natural Beige - $13.95
I obviously really liked this powder.  It even made an appearance in my July Favorites if you want to see what it looked like with product in the pan :) I have combination skin and I have redness in my cheeks.  When I wear something with light coverage, like a tinted moisturizer, I liked using this powder to set it because it also provides light coverage and evens out the redness in my cheeks.  I use a big fluffy brush to apply it because if you use too much it can look powdery/chalky.  I have not repurchased it yet, but I will buy it again next time I catch a good Physicians Formula sale.

Dirty Girl Lip Balm
I bought this in a local shop, but I saw some Dirty Girl items on Amazon.  The packaging wore off a bit after kicking around in purse for a looong time.  I really bought this because the packaging was so darn cute, but it was a good lip balm.  A little bit waxy feeling, but very moisturizing and it lasted a long time.

Love, Chloe Eau de Parfum - 1.7oz $90 Sephora
I gave this one a fair chance, but this scent was not for me. On me, it was too heavy, a strong floral.  I saw great reviews online so it may just not work with my body chemistry.

Friends With Benefits - Massage Bar - 2.3oz. $10.95
I love that LUSH is a green company and tries to make products that don't need packaging, but then I have nothing to photograph once I use it up, lol. So, sorry for the stock photo from I love LUSH's massage bars!  I use them for massage, but also as a hand and cuticle cream.  LUSH says this one smells like Marigolds and Chocolate.  I'm not sure I could have identified that on my own, but it does have a sweet, but slightly herbal smell, so I guess that is spot on.  It does smell lovely and it is very moisturizing.  I will definitely buy this one again!  

 Mini Candles - Bath and Body Works - 1.3oz. $4.50 each
I used Spiced Apple Toddy and Cranberry Pear Bellini.  I really liked the idea of these mini candles because you can try more fragrances for less money.  What I do not like is that they don't give off a lot of fragrance because they are so small.  I'm going to stick to the larger 3 wick candles.  The scents were both great, though.

Have you tried any of these products?
What have you used up recently?  Feel free to leave your links below if you have an empties post.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Samples: Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Review

Hey Guys! I am very excited to kick off my first Sunday Samples post of 2013 with Kate Somerville's ExfoliKate face scrub!  It is the best known product of Kate Somerville's brand and I have always been interested in checking it out.  And, after organizing my samples I realized I had not 1, but 3 of these foil packets.

 Face scrubs are one of the few face care products that you usually only have to try once to see if they work for you, so I never mind getting them in these little foil packets.

I followed the directions and scrubbed in circular motions and waited 30 seconds before rinsing it off.

The color and texture were both a surprise to me.  It has a clay/gel texture and when you rub it in it has lots and lots of super tiny exfoliating bits.  If you have tried Philosophy's Microdelivery Exfoliating Face Wash the little exfoliating bits are similar feeling, but ExfoliKate felt like it had more bits.  It smelled very earthy.  Not good, but not bad either.

After I rinsed it off, I did experience a bit of redness, but it went away after about 15 minutes.  And, after about half an hour my skin  had less redness than it had before I used the scrub.  My skin was soft, smooth and clean feeling.  So many scrubs leave me too dry or too oily, but my skin really felt balanced afterward.  And, the fact that it reduced the redness in my skin really was a big, unexpected plus.

I got this sample free with one of my orders. You can buy Kate Somerville ExfoliKate there in 3 sizes.  0.5oz $19, 2oz. $85, 4oz. $175 

Usually, you get a price break when you buy larger sizes, but for some reason the more you buy, the more ExfoliKate costs per ounce, so I say try the 0.5oz $19 size.  That is what I am going to do!  After I work through more of my sample stash :)

Have you tried ExfoliKate? What did you think?
Are you planning on trying it?
What is your favorite face scrub?

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Sunday Samples: Organizing my Sample Madness

I am bringing my Sunday Samples series back because my sample stash is getting ridiculous!  Ok, fine, it was always ridiculous, but now its just out of control.  I recently pulled all of my samples out of all of my little stash spots, boxes, drawers, hanging organizers in my closet, etc. and organized them all by type. Face washes, day moisturizers, night creams, eye creams, fragrances, hair care, etc. Everything now has a home so when I want to use something I know right where it is.

It ended up filling one of my 3 drawer cubes I got from Michaels, often called Melmers in the beauty community.  I divided each drawer with plastic baskets I got at the dollar store, but you can find them at Walmart too. I thought I would share this madness with you all and maybe give you some organization ideas.  Also if you see anything you want me to review, just let me know.

Top Drawer - Skin Care: 
Top Left - Scrubs, Peels
Top Right - Eye Creams
Bottom Left - Night Creams
Bottom Right - Day Creams
Very Bottom - Serums
Middle Drawer - Makeup:
Top Left - Misc. Color Makeup
Top Right - Eye Primers & Deluxe Sample Primers
Bottom Left - Foil Packet Foundations
Bottom Right - Deluxe Sample Foundations
Very Bottom - Face Primers, Illuminators, Tanners

 Bottom Drawer - Hair Care, Body Care, Face Cleansers:
Top Left - Foot Care
Top Right - Face Cleansers
Bottom Left - Hand Creams
Bottom Right - Body Creams
Very Bottom - Hair Care & a couple Body Cream Deluxe Samples

So there it is in all of its hoarder shame. Hopefully now that it is organized I will actually use them!  I will have my first Sunday Sample post of 2013 up tomorrow as long as I do not lose power due to this crazy Nemo blizzard.  

Since most of my samples are foil packets, my Sunday Sample Reviews are just simple first impression reviews.  Hopefully they will help to keep me motivated to work through this stash and find some new favorite products.

Anything you see that you want to be reviewed?

What do you do with all of your beauty samples?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Julep Maven February Bombshell Box - Laura and Ginger Swatches

I am very excited to show you my February Julep Maven Box!  I continued to receive my maven boxes during my blogging hiatus and I still plan on reviewing them, but I thought I better start with the current box or I will be forever trying to catch up.
This month, I chose to receive the Bombshell box.  I love that you can choose between styles every month.  I rarely skip months.  There is almost always a set I want, but it is nice to have that option, too.
This month's choices all had an A-List glamour theme, inspired by the start of awards season.
So this month, all of the polishes are inspired by and named after award winning actresses.  The Bombshell box includes Laura, a dusty olive creme inspired by Laura Dern and Ginger, a pink champagne holo inspired by Ginger Rogers. 
 Call me a dork, but I love the monthly quotes that Julep includes in each Maven box.
 Almost every month there is a surprise extra included and this month I got a mini eyelash curler.
 I actually don't own one.  My lashes usually have a nice, natural curl, but every now and then they misbehave so this will be nice to have on hand in case of emergency :)
Julep often includes a seasonal candy in the Maven boxes.  This month, I got 2 chocolate hearts for Valentine's Day.  They didn't last long :)
I have not tried these two yet, but I am excited to!  All of the Maven boxes this month got a free Freedom Polymer Top Coat which promises the high shine of a gel without the UV light curing and difficult removal AND a smudge free dry time of 5 minutes!  The Oxygen Nail Treatment promises to strengthen thin, weak nails prone to breaking and peeling.  It is designed to be used on its own without another polish over it, so it has a soft pink tint which Julep describes as, "Makeup for your nails."   I am excited to try this, too but I think I would prefer a treatment that I could use as a base coat for polish. We'll see! I will let you know what I think after I play with them.
Natural Light - Sun
Here is Laura and Ginger!  All photos are 2 coats each with no top coat.  I love them both!  I didn't see too much holo in Ginger, but full sunshine is hard to come by this time of year.  You can see a hint of holo if you click to enlarge the photos.

They both apply beautifully.  Julep really makes great cremes.  Laura is opaque and has a nice shine even without a top coat.  Ginger also applied evenly, with no dragging and was perfect in 2 coats.
Natural Light - Shade

I chose the Bombshell box this month for Ginger, but I ended up loving Laura just as much! Which is your favorite?

Are you a Julep Maven?
What did you get this month?

Right now you can join the Julep Maven monthly subscription program for FREE!  First time members can get their first box for only FREE by Clicking Here, choose which intro box you want and enter FREEBOX at checkout. The links included are my referral links.  When you sign up you get one too and you can earn credits for more free polish :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Review and Swatches Layla Hologram Effect 06 Mermaid Spell

Hey! Long time no see :) Sorry I fell off the face of the Earth for a bit.  Life... you know how that goes.  So, I have been catching up, reading all of the many blogs I follow and I'm ready to jump back in again.  And, what better polish is there to jump back in with than a Layla Holographic polish?

This is a Layla Hologram Effect polish in 06 Mermaid Spell.  Yeah, you have probably seen it before, but this was my very first holo polish so it has a special place in my heart and my stash.  It was actually a birthday present from Mr. BeautyScraps, who apparently did his research because as I was sitting there, painting away (4 coats total) he said, "You could use that over white to intensify the effect and not have to use so many coats." lol Maybe next time.  You just have to love him.  So, what you are about to see is 4 coats of Mermaid Spell with no top coat.

The 2 photos above were taken in direct sun and the photo below was taken in indirect sunlight. Oh my rainbows!  This polish is so fun and more than a little distracting in the sun.  It just keeps catching my eye.  Seriously, use caution while operating heavy machinery.

This photo shows the true color best.  Application was a bit tricky. You can't paint over the same area twice while wet or it drags.  I think that is why I needed 4 coats here.  If I was more careful I think 3 coats would do.  It does dry really fast so you don't have to wait too long between coats.  Maybe next time I will try it over white :)

What do you think? Have you tried and Layla holos? Any application tips?