Sunday, July 24, 2011

{Summer Must Haves} Body Exfoliator!

One definite must have for summer is smooth, exfoliated skin, especially if you are going to sunless than. I do love a good body scrub, but I prefer chemical scrubs that exfoliate my skin but don't leave it feeling red and raw. This one from Being True, while expensive, does the trick!

So just what is an Energy Work Active Body Peel? It is an exfoliator, but instead of solely relying on abrasives to exfoliate, it also includes chemical exfoliates. This one in particular has beads that are filled with salicylic acid that burst when you rub them in and exfoliate really really well but without irritating skin.

While I know this stuff is expensive $42, you do get 8 oz, so should last you months and months. I've had mine for about three months and with weekly use I'm not even half way through the tub. Before you shell out $42 for it, check your local TJMaxx and Marshall's because I do believe I've seen Being True products there. I've only seen eye creams, but you never know!

Using a chemical peel (yikes, sounds dangerous, but don't get scared lol!) is a bit different from a regular scrub exfoliator. In this case you apply on dry skin, moisten a bit, rub in, and rinse off. I've been told that leaving it on for a couple minutes is ok, so I rub it in before I shower, brush my teeth or something and then rinse off in the shower.

The actual product is a gel that has little crystals and beads suspended in it. The beads contain the salicylic acid, so on top of a chemical exfoliation you are also getting a bit of mechanical exfoliation.

Now, this stuff is nowhere near as harsh or effective as the stuff your dermatologist, esthetician, or facialist would use, but I did notice immediately smoother and softer skin. I've also noticed that when I use this anywhere that I've gotten the odd pimple, after a few uses the scar looks a bit faded. I've also been using this before I get a spray tan, and I must say, the spray tan goes on a lot more even after I use this. If you've got a bit more money to shell out on a luxury product, this one is worth trying. If not, something like St. Ives Apricot Face scrub, although formulated for facial use, works like a charm as well, albeit not as gently!

I don't know of any retailers that sell Being True, but you can get in online from their website here!

Price: $42
Ingredients: Aqua (Water), Glycerin, Algae Extract, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Jojoba Esters (Beads), Mannitol, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Salicylic Acid, CI 77492, Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Leaf Extract*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Phenoxyethanol, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Fruit Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Mentha Viridis (Spearmint) Leaf Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Ocimum Basilicum (Basil) Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Tocopherol (D-alpha), Tocotrienols, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Allantoin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder*, Elaeis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Trisodium Ethylenediamine Disuccinate, Alcohol Denat., Carbomer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Tropolone, Sodium Hydroxide, Squalene, Phytosterol Complex.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

{Review} St. Ives Warming Scrub

One thing that is essential for any time of the year is exfoliation. The rising trend of warming scrubs has really intrigued me because I can't seem to wrap my mind around getting heat on contact with water. I know, it's all in the chemicals, but it always boggles my mind haha! Although I don't really get much warming from this particular scrub, it does leave my face feeling very very smooth!

What separates this scrub from others is that it is not tested on animals or contain any animal ingredients, parabens, or phthalates. It is also made with natural exfoliates, but what the exfoliate actually is isn't listed on the packaging. Sucrose is listed as one of the ingredients, so it could be sugar, but that's just a guess.

I do like how Earth friendly St. Ives has become, but at the same time I've noticed that their products are getting more and more expensive as well. This scrub retails for $7.99. For a brand like St. Ives, that's a lot. I can get a scrub from Olay for around that much. They also have scrubs for around $10, which granted, isn't going to bankrupt me, but at the same time is a bit pricey for a drugstore brand.

Now onto the actual product. I like the dispenser, a simple squeeze tube with a generously sized opening. One thing I've noticed with warming scrubs is that they tend to be a bit thicker than regular scrubs, and they can be difficult to squeeze out. No such problem with this one.

The texture of the product is thicker than a normal scrub, but thinner than some of the other warming scrubs that I've tried. It is very densely packed with abrasives which are suspended in a foaming cleanser. I like that it's not a cream based scrub because those don't work well with my skin and I end up having to cleanse after as well. This scrub rinses clean without leaving any residue behind. This product does have a strong smell, for those with sensitive skin or noses. Oddly enough, it smells a bit like laundry detergent. Not bad, but strange in a facial product.

My only complaint about this product is that it doesn't really warm much. Getting the scrub to warm when I use it is very difficult. I have to apply it in just the right way, and even then the warmth lasts only a few seconds. I've tried warming scrubs from Olay and Aveeno and their warming scrubs give off at least 10 seconds of warmth. I know, that's not exactly a lot, but much better than this one. honestly, most times I just use this as a regular scrub because getting the warming action to work is just too much hassle.

The really good thing about this scrub, however, is that the abrasive is gentle. Although the cleanser is densely packed with little particles, they are not rough or scratchy like the particles in their Apricot Scrub are. If you're looking for a much gentler scrub, this one is a good choice. At around $8 it is a bit pricey for drugstore, but if you see it on sale definitely consider getting one!

Price: $7.99
Ingredients: PEG 8, Glycerin, Glycereth 18 Ethylhexanoate, Sucrose, Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate, Glycereth 18, Glyceryl Caprylate, Jojoba Esters, Fragrance (Parfum), Cetyl Alcohol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360)

{Review} Sally Beauty Sally Girl Eyeshadows

(L to R) Sally Girl Eyeshadows in Cream Cocoa, Espresso, Eggplant, and Midnight.

A while back, I'd been browsing beauty blogs online and I came across a raving review about these Sally Girl eyeshadows. I was intrigued. These shadows only cost a buck, can be put together in palettes, have great pigmentation, a massive selection of shades, and oh yeah, they're only a buck each! Now, I'd walked by this display at Sally's many many times, writing the makeup off as cheap, putting it at the same level as older New York Color formulations. But after seeing that review, I just had to give them a try, so I ran down to Sally's and made my very own quad!

(L to R) Sally Girl Eyeshadows in Cream Cocoa, Espresso, Eggplant, and Midnight.

The colors I got are the ones I usually get, purples and browns. But honestly, each color is unique! I don't have anything exactly like them in my collection, which surprised me. My favorite of the bunch are Cream Cocoa and Espresso. Cream Cocoa isn't just a white. It has the teeniest bit of green in it. I don't know how that looks good on me, but for some reason it goes better with my undertones. Espresso actually goes on a bit darker than it looks and has this very glam feel to it. It has enough orange in it that it makes my blue eyes pop, but not enough to make me look like I've got orange on.

(L to R) Sally Girl Eyeshadows in Cream Cocoa, Espresso, Eggplant, and Midnight.

The thing I love best about these is that you can customize a decent quality palette for a very cheap price and with shades that are stunning! Sometimes I take Cream Cocoa and Espresso as a duo, other times take all four, and other times I'll take Eggplant, Midnight, and Cream Cocoa in a trio. Depending on what I'm doing that day, I can pick and choose what I want to take with me, which is great. It does take a little bit of practice to get the shadows together quickly.


(L to R) Sally Girl Eyeshadows in Cream Cocoa, Espresso, Eggplant, and Midnight.

How stunning are the shades!? It was a bit difficult to get the green in Cream Cocoa to show through, so don't let the swatch discourage you. It doesn't look super green on my skin, it just blends in effortlessly. All four of the colors are very very pigmented. I was actually shocked at how pigmented the colors are. You hardly need any to get a very high impact look. They also blend in very very well, and feel very smooth, like butter lol! The only negative I can think of are that they are just a bit more powdery than other shadows that are pressed a bit more densely. You definitely need to tap of excess well, especially with midnight, or you run the risk of major all out. Other than that, these are great for the price!


Price: $1 (ea)


{Summer Must Haves} Bright Polish!

(L to R) Essie Funky Limelight and Sinful Colors Pink.

Sorry for the long absence. I've spent the last almost three weeks in NYC!!! I had so much fun, but now I'm back and I'll be blogging regularly again, starting with another Summer Must Haves post!

Obnoxiously bright polish is a must have for the summer, especially for feet. I've got nearly all the fluorescent shades available, from green to blue to purple and etc, but my favorites are the two above. On the left is Essie's Funky Limelight which came out in the summer of '09. On the right is Sinful Colors Pink. Sinful Colors' neon's are available now in a ton of shades if you want them. I've really been loving these on my toes, especially Pink. It is so eye catching I always get compliments with it on1 The only downside to these polishes is that they tend to be a bit sheer, so you will need around three to four coats for full opacity. I know, that sounds daunting, but their formula dries within a minute, I'm not kidding, so three to four coats won't take an hour. Another thing is that they dry to almost a matte finish, so you will need a top coat. Other than that, these are great and I highly recommend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

{Empties} June 2011 (+ Bonus Hit Pans!)

Hi guys! Sorry it took so long to get this post out. I underestimated how many mini reviews I would have to write lol! I've decided to do empties on a monthly basis from now on. Enjoy! Click on any links for more information and more in depth reviews!

Sally Hansen Teflon Tough Top Coat
A good top coat, very shiny, and makes my nails not chip for I would say almost a week. Not as great as Seche Vite, but for the price, a good option. What I really like about it is that it dries very very quickly, within two minutes.

Aquafina Intensive Under Eye Cream
This is a very good eye cream if you're looking for a very thick, rich under eye cream. It moisturizes very very well. That being said, this is the stupidest packaging I've ever had to deal with. The cream is very thick, so it does not sink to the bottom of the container, which means the pump can't pump it up. I would use a little spatula to scoop out as much as I could into a sample container and use it that way. Good cream, but packaging makes use very annoying.

Almay Clear Complexion Concealer
I like this concealer for its coverage, but as far as treating acne, I didn't notice any difference in my skin after continued use, and I really did only use this on pimples. The formula is a bit thicker than other concealers, so if you're used to think, liquid concealers this one may not be for you. It does blend out very well though.

Essie Mini Nail Polishes in Turning Heads Reds (Bottom) and Fearless (Top)
I loved these colors so much, especially for my toes. Fearless was the color that really got me interested in bright shades for nails. I;m not keen on the mini bottles though. I got through about 2/3 of these and then the rest kinda dried out, including the applicator. I've got the same problem with the OPI minis. They're nice if you wanna try out some nice shades, but if you buy them in 4's I would say save your money and buy two full size shades instead.

Maybelline Cool Effect Shadow Liner in On The Rocks
I loved this color. It's a deep, warm brown with a bit of shimmer to it. I also loved how long it lasted. Without a primer all over the lid it lasted until I took it off with absolutely no creasing at all. I was very surprised at this level of long wear from a drugstore brand. My issue with it is that the product dries out very very quickly. I bought it and used it for two weeks daily, went to sharpen and had the entire stick fall out of the tube.

See? Nothing in there. I've never even sharpened it once! I was so disappointed because I bought this brand new at full price from Walgreens. It's not like I picked it up from Big Lots or something, this was a brand new one. I think I may try out the NYX Jumbo pencils and see how they match up.

Petites Nail Polish in Sapphire
I wore this so much in spring! I love the shade, it's a super super shimmery blue jean kinda color. Very pretty and super affordable at only $2. I think one of the Dior Fall 2011 shades looks very similar to this one too!

Jordana Clear Mascara
I like how affordable this brow gel is for me. It keeps my brows in place all day without flaking or looking white. What I hate about it is after just three weeks it starts getting really really dirty.

Gross, right? I use go through about one a month because even though there is enough left for almost 2 weeks of use, i just feel gross using it. At a dollar a month though, it doesn't really hurt much.

Revlon Creme Gloss in Strike A Rose
I loved this gloss. It's the first gloss I've finished in ages. It's a bit thicker than a traditional gloss, but it's marketed as more of a liquid lip color. I did a full review, so if this seems like your type of product, check it out!

Almay Intense i Color Volumizing Mascara
I forget which eye color this was for, but it's the purply maroon color. It is a very nice day mascara. i hated it when I first got it because it was a bit too wet and would clump, but like with many other mascaras, when it dries out a little it worked perfectly, giving very nice and feathery lashes. I kinda wish I had bought the black though. The maroon was just a little lighter than I like my lashes.

Smashbox High Definition Concealer
This is an awesome all purpose type of concealer. I swear, there is nothing it can't do. It's thin but very pigmented texture makes it ideal for covering anything from pimples to dark circles and I've even mixed it with a bit of moisturizer to create a tinted moisturizer on the go. It blends effortlessly and never looks obvious. A bit pricey, but a very good buy.

Essie Mini Top Coat
I love Essie polishes, and when it comes to finish, they beat OPI in the shine department, which makes this top coat a solid buy. It's not as great at keeping nails from chipping as Seche Vite, but it is easily just as shiny. Again, however, the mini polishes dry out way way way too quickly.

H20+ Body Oasis Intensive Hydrating Gel
I've already done a full review of this product, and unlike many other H2O+ products, this one was a disappointment. It just left this sticky film on the skin that made me feel very uncomfortable on top of the fact that it wasn't very hydrating to begin with. If you're interested, read the full review for my complete thoughts.

The Body Shop Jolly Orange Shower Gel
As a shower gel this product performed, but the scent for me was kinda just meh. After using their Satsuma Body Butter for a few months, the scent of this spicy orange just isn't that good. I love how fresh Satsuma smells and compared to it Jolly Orange is a bit cloying. It did get me feeling very clean, though, and it's great for shaving too!

Noxema The Original Deep Cleansing Cream
I love this! Enough said. Read here and here for why lol!

Totally gone! I've already picked up another one, too!

Nivea Natural Beauty Daily Peeling
I really liked this cleanser. It's a nice lathering cleanser, but it's also a very gentle but effective exfoliate. This cleanser succeeded in joining cleansing and exfoliating where others have completely failed (see next review lol). The abrasives in this cleanser are very very fine, but densely packed in the cleanser where as other cleansers of this type have small particles that are more spread apart and therefore less effective. The only criticism I can give this product is that there is little that is natural about it. Don't be fooled by the "Natural Beauty" title. If you look at the ingredients list it is packed to the brim with very unnatural ingredients. Just because it contains one or two natural ingredients doesn't make this a better choice than other cleansers. It is very effective and that's why I do recommend this product highly. It got my skin feeling very smooth and very clean in one go.

Neutrogena Oil Free Acne Wash Redness Soothing Gentle Scrub
As a face wash this is a good cleanser, but to me it's not really a true scrub. The particles are these little round beads that are just too sparse to do much good as a scrub. They are suspended in a cream cleanser, which is an ideal choice for many sensitive skins. If you are looking for something that lathers really well, this isn't it. It is lightly scented and really relaxing to use. I didn't really notice any difference in redness, though.

And for some pan porn:

Hopefully some of these will show up on next months empties!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

{Favorites} June 2011

Hi! I hope all of you had an awesome 4th of July! I went to a poolside BBQ and saw some fireworks later! I had a great Fourth and hope all of you were happy and safe as well! And here are June favorites, as promised!

1. Skin Care

The Body Shop Peppermint Intensive Foot Rescue
I've really been liking this foot moisturizer for the past month. With all of the pretty flip flops and open toed shoes I love to wear in the summer, it is really important to keep feet looking nice, and this does the job. And it smells absolutely divine!

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Liquid SPF 70 Sunblock
Another summer staple is sunblock. I've been wearing this for a couple of months now and it really is almost undetectable under makeup, which for someone with oily skin is very very important! At a price of $12 I again highly recommend this sunblock! I wore it yesterday by the pool for hours on end and my skin did not tan in the slightest. And don't forget to reapply!

Clarins Eye Revive Beauty Flash
This has been my go to eye cream since January of this year. My mom actually picked it up for me because I mentioned I was close to running out of my No 7 Protect and Perfect eye cream, and she's a big fan of Clarins so she got me something of theirs to try out. It's a light eye cream that really moisturizes my eyes so well. I know, I'm a bit young to be using eye creams, but ever since I started wearing contacts my eyes and the skin around them are really really dry, irritated and red. This keeps my eyes happy! And although it is expensive, you get a 0.7 oz, a bit more than the 0.5 oz that are standard for eye creams.

The Body Shop Tea Tree Spot Treatment
This stuff isn't a miracle product, but for those looking to get away from very harsh products containing salicylic acid or benzol peroxide then this may just be for you! I like how it is liquid because I don't have to use a lot as it spreads easily. It takes about as long as any other treatment I've tried, but I find that it doesn't dry out my skin as much as the other treatments I've tried do.

2. Nails

Sinful Colors Hot Pink
I've been loving this obnoxious over the top color for my toes!!! Especially in the sun, it is blinding! I've never been crazy about such bright colors but lately that's all I've been wearing. For some reason these neon polishes tend to dry to an almost matte finish, with almost no shine what so ever, so you definitely need a top coat with this one.

OPI A Good Man-Darin Is Hard To Find
This bright orange cream came out with the Hong Kong collection. I bought it a while later half off but wasn't really into the color that much. I took it out about a month ago and really like it for toes. It's not as attention catching as Hot Pink, but it makes my feet look really nice!

Sinful Colors Base Coat
I bought this one with the accompanying top coat, but I don't really like the top coat. This base coat, however, is great! Somehow it just grabs onto the color! My lighter cream formula polishes go on less streaky and all of them last much longer. Plus, my nails don't get stained any more! I've got a full review of both the base and top coat coming soon!

3. Makeup

Jemma Kidd Eyeshadow in In Season
It's a lot like Vintage from Jemma Kidd, but it has a more olive tone to it. I don't really have any olive shades because honestly they tend to make my skin look really yellow, but this shade has enough brown in it that that hasn't been a problem. I've been reaching for it almost every day.

Stila Convertible Color in Petunia
I love love love this! I've only had it for about two weeks, so it's not exactly a month, but it's the only blush I own that I've worn on a daily basis since I got it! I like Camellia as well, but I feel like this uber bright color is better suited for summer.

Rubens Remedies Rose Water Lip Balm
Ok, so this is one of the best rose salves I've ever used, but is is impossible to find anywhere. I'm not kidding. I got this at TJMaxx for less than a buck and I'm about half way though, but I can't find any place that sells it, in store or online. It's similar to other rose salves (like the C.O Bigelow or Smith ones), but it's nicer. It's a bit harder, but still melts down into a thin salve. while the other two I've tried tend to be soft to begin with. I also like the scent of this one a bit better than the other two. It's less fake. If you can find it anywhere, snatch it up!

Thanks for reading!!! Empties will be up tomorrow!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Fourth of July!!!

I hope all of my lovely readers have an awesome day at the beach or wherever! I'll have June Favorites up tomorrow! Enjoy the day!