Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cindy Sherman for MAC

Here are some of the new promotional images from MAC's new fall collection.  I was excited when I first heard about this collaboration, but when I saw these images all I could say is, WTF?!  The actual collection may be to die for, but these images are just not pulling me in.  Cindy Sherman is a gifted artist and photographer, but I'm just not getting these images.  What do you guys think?

July 2011 Birchbox

What is Birchbox? Birchbox is a membership service that delivers 4-5 deluxe size beauty samples to your door monthly. The cost is $10/month and that includes the shipping and handling. If you like what they send you, you have the option of purchasing full sizes on their website, many of them with free shipping. Membership also includes access to their website, which is loaded with beauty tutorials and the latest in beauty information. 

Last month I hinted that July's Birchbox was supposed to be something special, and special it was.  For July, Birchbox partnered with iconic designer Cynthia Rowley to create a box filled with Cynthia's personal favorite things.  This months box was a special present and opening it was a delight.

The first thing different I noticed about my box, was that it was covered in a pretty water marbled over wrap, just like gift wrap!  Inside, instead of the traditional pink tissue paper, this months goodies were wrapped in pretty turquoise tissue.  The wrappings while pretty aren't really the meat of this box though.
Inside was a beautiful nude Zoya nail polish.  It's a pretty pearled nude that actually looks good on me.  I've struggled with nude nail polish and it always gives me cadaver fingers.  Zoya's Shay had enough reflective properties to help me pull the look off.

Also included is a 1 fl oz sample of my favorite cleanser Purity.  For more on this fabulous cleanser check out my post here.  Needless to say I was quite happy to receive this travel size of my favorite cleanser.

I have been on a seemingly endless search for the perfect hand cream.  I almost found it in this months Birchbox.  It's the Ahava Mineral Hand Cream.  It absorbs nicely into my hands with a nice soft non-greasy finish.  Unfortunately it has a rather strong fragrance (not unpleasant) and due to my "real" job I have to try and stay "fragrance free".  There's also some political stuff brewing around this Israeli based company and I prefer my cosmetics to be a "political free zone".

My favorite addition to this months Birchbox is the the Redken Shine Flash 02.  This is a hair shine product that leaves an almost glossy finish to my hair.  Cynthia Rowley uses this on her models before they march down the catwalk.  I love the finish it gives my hair, it even tames those pesky baby hairs.  I do not love the stinky smell.  It quickly evaporates though and is undetectable in my hair.

Last but not least was this months "treat".  Tucked away in the box was a KIND Almond & Apricot bar.  I have seen these before at Starbucks and have hesitated to try them.  Not any more, they are yummy! This snack is loaded with nuts and fruits, but no preservatives or "hard-to-pronounce" ingredients.  Since trying this, I have purchased several of the other flavors and Almond & Apricot is my favorite.

Have any of you subscribed to Birchbox or are you thinking about it? The last two months have been great, can't wait till August's box comes!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

L'Oreal Le Gloss

Le Gloss is L'Oreals most recent introduction into the world of tube lip glosses.  I'll be honest, I've never really been a fan of tube lip glosses; they just seem messy, not that pigmented and quite frankly the colors have never really wowed me.

After seeing these pretty tubes in just about every drugstore I've been in over the last few weeks, I decided to break down and give them a try.  I took the plunge and picked up 4 tubes in Golden Splash (shimmering coral), Really Rose (creamy mauve), Watermelon (shimmering pink) and Blushing Berry (creamy berry). 

The gloss has an artificial vanilla cookie scent to it, but no flavor.  No flavor is a good thing, otherwise I find myself licking it off.  Unlike most tube glosses these are not particularly sheer,and the colors themselves are really quite pretty.  On their own they are not opaque like a lip cream, but neither are they sheer. I get about 2-3 hours of wear with these glosses.  The color wears off quickly, but they remain moisturizing for another hour or so.

The moisturizing properties of these lip glosses are probably their best attribute. Infused with omega 3, argan oil and vitamin E these glosses provide not only shine but a nice dose of moisture for your lips. I did not find these drying in anyway and most impressive of all...they are not sticky! My hair didn't get stuck to my lips once.

I like these best over lipstick. They do a nice job of giving your lip a subtle shine and dimension without breaking down the lipstick below it. 

The packaging is pretty much a miss for me.  The tubes and dispenser are your typical tube lip gloss, nothing special, but nothing bad.  The gold labeling on the package is a big fail though.  After just a few uses I found the gold rubbing off.  Not a terrible thing, but it does end up leaving you with a rather shabby looking product.

Currently there are 16 different shades available including clear. Each tube retails for around $8, less if you can find a sale. I bought mine on a BOGO 50% off.

  Would I buy again? Yes.  While they are expensive for a drugstore lipgloss they are a bargain compared to high end brands.  What about you?  Have you tried these?  Are you planning on trying these?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maison Lancome-Fall 2011 Blush

I should be ashamed, but I bought this based on the image alone.  How gorgeous is this?!  It won't be shipping till August, but it will be mine!  The whole Fall 2011 collection from Lancome is gorgeous, but the blush was a must have for me!  What do you guys think?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Milani Color Streaks

I LOVE Milani!  Their blushes are to die for.  The Liqiuif'eye liner is simply the best liner I've found (sorry Urban Decay).  The lip glosses put MAC to shame.  I really, really wanted to love or at least like the newest product in the Milani collection; Color Streaks.

  For a limited time only they have released Color Streaks, which is basically a mascara like product that temporarily colors your hair. You may remember similar products that either made your hair stiff and crunchy, oily, waxy or just didn't  work.  In fact, I remember Miss S getting some with a Barbie one year for Christmas. I wasn't hyped when I first heard about them, but hey it's Milani, it's got to be good!  They even have keratin in them and that's good, right?

No.  No. AND NO!  These suck worse then those Barbie wands Miss S got that Christmas.  They don't show up in my brunette hair, which wouldn't be to surprising, but the promo images show it on beautiful BLACK hair!  They dry stiff and clumpy. AND they stained my hand!

In the tubes the colors are gorgeous.  The multi colored glitter one had me so excited.  It had those beautiful hexagonal glitters I love so much mixed with a smaller glitter.  Unfortunately it's mixed in a black base so it's hard to see and the mascara applicator barely picks up any of the glitter.

Buy or Bust?  What do you think? I bought the pink, purple and black glitter and ALL 3 are going back to CVS.  Have you tried these yet?  I'd love to hear about your experiances!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

June 2011 Birchbox-OMG! Such Awesomeness!

What is Birchbox? Birchbox is a membership service that delivers 4-5 deluxe size beauty samples to your door monthly. The cost is $10/month and that includes the shipping and handling. If you like what they send you, you have the option of purchasing full sizes on their website, many of them with free shipping. Membership also includes access to their website, which is loaded with beauty tutorials and the latest in beauty information. 

I'll be honest with you, the last couple of Birchboxes that I've received had me doubting my subscription.  Not any more!  June's box was amazing. I won't keep you in suspense, here is a picture of my Birchbox in all it's amazing glory!

In case you were wondering, yes that is a FULL SIZE Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten! Oh, and that Kiehls bottle, it's full of a their brand new oil-free moisturizer.  What can I say?  This was a box of greatness!  Well at least for $10!  Remember though, each box is customized to the indivdual.  My box may be different then the one you or others receive.

This month's theme was summer travel and vacation-ready products.  I think each product was a home run and something that I or Miss S will be using on a regular basis. 

Xen-Tan Deep Bronze Luxe is a self tanner that has a reputation for being natural looking and easy to apply (lotion is tinted for easy application).  I have wanted to try it, but at $39 for a 8 fl oz bottle I was holding off.   I haven't tried the Xen-Tan yet, but my 1 fl oz sample will be getting some good use before my next holiday!

Kiehls Ultra Facial Oil Free Lotion is a brand new addition to the well respected Ultra Facial line.  This lotion hasn't even hit the stores yet, but it's sitting on Miss S's vanity as we speak.  Poor Miss S, suffers from eczema and oily skin.  Most lotions are either too heavy or too light.  This oil free lotion is neither.  It moisturizers her skin without exacerbating either problem.  A full size bottle will cost $24.50 for 125 ml's.  The Birchbox sample was 30 ml's and after 1 weeks use, Miss S still has a good amount left.  Definitely a product I will be purchasing.

This months perfume sample was Kate Spade's Twirl.  It comes in a mini spray sample bottle thingy (it must have a real name, I just don't know it!). Twirl is a nice fruity scent that smells bright and cheerful.  A 1.7 fl oz bottle will run you $65 and the  Birchbox sample is a generous 0.05 fl oz.

Of course my favorite by far is the full size Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten.  This is a four in 1 product that works with almost every skin tone.  It can be used wet or dry.  It works as a blush, bronzer, eyeshadow and/or highlighter. This has a bit more shimmer then I usually like, but I've been having a lot of fun with it.  The retail price is $29.50 and the cost of my Birchbox was only $10!  Woo Hoo! SCORE!

Last but not least are the Herban Essentials Orange Towelettes.  These are very cool, handy little germ-killing hands wipes.  They smell amazing and they don't contain any alcohol. Orange essential oil is a very effective antimicrobial and antiseptic.  A full size box contains 20 towelettes for $15 and the June Birchbox was packed with 2 of these delicious smelling hand wipes.  Goodbye germ gel!

Rumor has it that July's box is going to be even better!  I can't wait!