Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Beauteque May BB Bag (Review)

Hi Beautiful Ones,

Today I have an interesting post about a beauty subscription bag that is a little different than the usual suspects. It is called Beauteque and is a monthly cosmetic subscription with a focus on Asian skincare and makeup. I was kindly gifted the May BB bag from the company and thought I'd share it with you.

 Since the focus is on Asian products, a monthly bag like this allows you to try items you wouldn't normally find in the U.S or Europe. When I received the bag, it was carefully packaged in a cute cosmetic case that would be perfect to reuse for travel.

This month's BB bag contained 8 items including masks, a lash curler, lip balm, eyeliner, skin smoother and body mist.

Also included, thankfully, was an insert with a description and directions for each product included in the bag. This was especially useful since all the packaging had Asian labels.

The masks for this month came complete with a 3-step one-use system to cleanse, moisturize and treat the skin. This was a bit different for me since the masks I usually gravitate to leave a tight feeling on the skin once it has dried. This one, however, pretty much stays wet for the 15-20 minutes suggested. I did notice it absorbed a little into my skin by the end of the time and upon removal, my skin felt noticeably nourished.

Eyelash curlers are a beauty item that I want to love, except I don't have a pressing need for them. This one is beautiful though, coated in 24K gold! You fancy, huh!

The Bebe Mist in Sweet Peach has a soft, light fragrance that I quite enjoy, especially right out of the shower. The Moisture Essence also has a stronger scent and provides a watery, very light moisture to the skin.

Up next is the Pig-Nose Clear Blackhead Starter. I'm not so sure about this one since I didn't notice much of a difference. Similar to the masks included, it is a fairly watery gel that keeps its consistency during the entire application. Usually a blackhead treatment is grittier or dries hard to remove the blackheads but I didn't feel any effect with this. 

The Vivid Tint Bar lip balm is moisturizing and comes in a pretty pink tube, though the color does not transfer to the lips.

Last, but not least is the Auto Eye-liner Pencil. This is by far the item in this BB bag that I will get the most use out of. It comes in Black and though it is not the most intense liner you will encounter, its great for everyday definition.

The Beauteque monthly BB bags are offered on a subscription basis and you can sign up for them here. Every month, they include 7-8 trial and full-sized products valued between $65-85 for a subscription cost from $24!

Overall, I liked trying out the new (to me) products in this bag. A subscription like this offers the opportunity to test out cool products I wouldn't find in stores near me. $24 is a bit higher than other similar subscription services I've tried but if you value trying something your girlfriends likely haven't heard of, it just might be worth it!

Thanks for reading!

Blogger Tricks

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Review: MAC Viva Glam III Lipstick

Lipstick week continues, so I'm showcasing today one of my new favorites, MAC's Viva Glam III lipstick.

Lately I've really gotten into the trend of the mauve-influenced nude lip and this lipstick just called my name. Viva Glam III is a deep browny plum with a matte finish. I don't find it to be a drying matte though. It feels like an amplified formula on the lips and applies really smoothly with excellent pigmentation.

The wear throughout the day is consistent with other MAC matte lipsticks at around 5-7 hours depending if you eat or drink.

Viva Glam III retails for $16 and all proceeds from the entire Viva Glam line are donated to the MAC AIDS Fund to help those living with HIV and AIDS. So it's beauty with a purpose!

Overall, I am a big fan of this shade and finish. It is a little deeper than the trending mauve-nude but I think it works beautifully as a nude on darker skin and still makes a statement. Plus, a good cause always makes us feel better about all that pretty! :-)

Thanks for reading!

What's you  favorite statement nude lipstick?

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Review: Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks - Lolita & Bauhau5

Day 2 of lipstick mania continues! Today I've got the ever-so-popular Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks in the shades Bauhau5 and Lolita.

The Everlasting Lipsticks are long-wear liquid to (very) matte lipsticks that apply with an easy doe-foot applicator.

Lolita, shown below, is a dusty rose shade with a browny-mauve undertone that has been so in demand this year that is almost always out of stock! To snag this one I had to sign up for Sephora's notification alert to let me know when it was back on the website. Lolita is a beautiful nude that gives a little something extra to not wash the face out. It looks like a medium brown on some and a mauve/pink on others. I did find I had to apply 2 coats of this to opaquely cover my lips.

Bauhau5 is a bright fuchsia that applies a bit more evenly than Lolita.This shade is right up my alley and makes a perfect statement.

Now about the formulas themselves. The Everlasting Lipsticks apply with the wand very creamily and in about a minute they dry to a very matte finish. I don't think a lipstick can be more matte than this! They are mostly comfortable on the lips but at times I do like to run some lip balm over my lips.

The wear is amazing at about 7 hours without eating or drinking. Oil-based foods will rub off most of the product but eating with a fork will only require a mild touch-up. Bauhau5, the richer of the 2, leaves a stain behind so it is not very noticeable even when it is rubbed off. Generally speaking though, these liquid lipsticks really grab on to the skin!

As with all matte lipsticks, it is recommended to exfoliate the lips and apply a balm before application to reduce flakes that are made more obvious by the product.

Kat Von D's Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks are sold at Sephora for $20 each.

Overall, I am pleased with my purchase of these Everlasting Lipsticks. Even though I have been on the hunt for Lolita for months and I do like it, Bauhau5 is my favorite of these two. I also really enjoy the true matte coverage and the lasting power is impressive!

As always, thanks for reading!

What is your favorite Liquid Lipstick?

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Review: Rimmel Showoff Lip Velvet - Meteoric Matte

This week I'm kicking off all posts with some awesome lip products I've been experimenting with lately. The first of these is from Rimmel's new Lip Velvet line in the shade Meteoric Matte.

Meteoric Matte is a rich berry-fuchsia with excellent pigmentation and easy application. The product is placed on the lips with a doe-foot applicator quite similar to their Show Off Lip Lacquers (review).

I found the lip cream applied with ease and there was a little sheen but as it dried, it appeared like a soft matte. It isn't like true matte that looks completely sheen-free, but has just the slightest bit of shine like a satin finish.

It also doesn't feel excessively drying on the lips like other matte lipsticks but after about 4 hours of wear I do feel the need to reapply. I am pleased that it doesn't look patchy as it wears off and there is a bit of a stain left behind when the product has evaporated (which I like). Eating and drinking will wear it off faster and will most likely need to be touched up afterwards.

The Rimmel Showoff Lip Velvets can be found in most drugstores now for around $5.99 and there are 4 other shades in the line.

Overall, I like the Showoff Lip Velvets. Its a very easy way to apply 'matte' lipsticks without the dragging of a traditional matte lipstick bullet. Deep down though, I still prefer the traditional bullet and true matte effect but I do think this product has a place in my collection. I'd recommend.

Thanks for reading!

What is your favorite liquid lipstick?

Friday, March 27, 2015

NOTD: Coral Swirl

Today's nail look is all ready to go for Spring, with a twist!

For this easy mani, I painted all my nails with Sally Hansen's Insta Dri polish in Fast Lane. I believe this pastel coral shade is part of a new collection that I found in a pretty display in Rite-Aid.

After two coats of that polish dried, I applied these beautiful nail stickers from Born Pretty Store that were kindly provided for this post. I then trimmed the edges to fit my nails and pressed firmly on them to ensure a smooth application. Lastly, I applied a layer of top coat to seal everything in.

I would actually recommend 2 layers of top coat to keep the edges of the stickers down for a few more days. Things got a little gnarly after the 3rd day when the corners lifted a little but I used a cuticle nipper to keep it in check.

I purchased Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Fast Lane from Rite-Aid for $4.99. The nail stickers were provided for review from Born Pretty store and you can find them here. If you'd like to purchase anything from the site, get 10% off with the code LAP10K31 or click the coupon in the sidebar of this page.

Thanks for reading!

What are your favorite Spring nail colors?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Review: Vitagoods Scalp Massaging Shampoo Brush

Fingers are awesome! Most of us have about 10 of them and they're generally pretty good at what they do. However, sometimes, you want to up the ante and thats just what this Vitagoods Vibrating Shampoo Brush & Scalp Massager does!

This handheld little gadget is waterproof for use in the shower to really get in and deep clean the scalp while giving a soothing vibrating massage. The benefits of using this include lifting flakes and buildup from the scalp without much effort and increasing blood flow to encourage healthy hair growth. And who doesn't want that?!

The casing is made of hard plastic and the bristles are a firm silicone (or maybe rubber?) that gently exfoliate the scalp without scratching it or tangling the hair.  To take extra precautions, I hold the length of my hair in one hand while using the other to clean my scalp with the shampoo brush.

So, this may be TMI, but I have a bit of a case of scalp eczema and this little device has helped tremendously over the last 4 or 5 months to help keep my scalp clear without having to re-shampoo 500 times! :-)

To use, I press the button to turn it on and just run the smooth bristles over my scalp in slow(ish) linear movements, lifting my hand before changing directions so as not to tangle my hair. I repeat until I've covered my entire scalp.

The Vitagoods Shampoo brush is battery-operated and the batteries are housed down in the belly of the tool so you have to untwist the brush from the handle and then use a screwdriver to open the battery compartment. They really made sure putting in/taking out batteries was no accident! In any case, this prevents water in the shower from getting inside the device.

I purchased this shampoo brush on eBay for around $19. On the official Vitagoods website, it is listed at $39 but you can get it for under $20 at most other sites and retailers.

Overall,  I really love this product. It's ergonomic design makes it easy to hold and use in the shower and it gets my scalp really clean without having to dry out my hair by repeating shampoos too many times. Since it also doubles as a scalp massager, you can use this on dry hair as well to allow oils/products to penetrate better into the scalp or alone just because it feels so darn good!

Thanks for reading!

What's your favorite way to treat your scalp?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Review: Kiko Velvet Mat Satin Lipstick in 610

Hidiho Beauts,

Ever since moving to Spain, I have been excited to try cool European brands and one of the first I've tried is from Kiko, an affordable Italian brand. Today I've got a review for the lipstick, 610 from the Velvet Mat Satin lipstick line.

I have to admit that 95% of the reason I bought this lipstick is because of the beautiful packaging! Luxurious, isn't it? The tube is opened by pushing the bullet portion down the top of the cap. Glamorous and futuristic!

The shade itself is described as Rosy Brown on the Kiko website and I think that's pretty accurate. A neutral brown with a slight mauve undertone.

The finish is more of a satin than a matte and this neutral shade could be flattering on a variety of skin tones. The one department where this lipstick is lacking, in my opinion, is in pigmentation. I found it to be quite sheer and I had to build up the color a few times to show up on my pigmented lips.

 I purchased 610 at a Kiko store for EUR 6,90. Kiko stores are quite prevalent here in Europe but some stores have opened up stateside in Miami, New York and New Jersey so far. You can also shop for these products on the Kiko website here.

Overall, I love the shade and packaging of this lipstick but since it is so sheer on me, it drops significant points in my book. I personally prefer a more opaque application but to those of you who don't mind this or have a fairer complexion, I highly recommend this line of Kiko lipsticks for its shades, beautiful packaging and affordability.

Thanks for reading!

What Kiko products have you tried/want to try?

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: Emjoi Micro-Pedi Nano Callus Remover

MmmKay, this may be a bit of a different post from my usual 'above the shoulders' reviews, but you know summer's around the corner. Its time to get our feet right! The Emjoi Micro-Pedi Nano Callus Remover may just be the ticket to sandal-readiness!

So, I don't know about you, but I like to avoid physical labor wherever I can - and that now includes my pedicures! The Micro-Pedi, which is like a super fast, rotating pumice stone, takes the effort out of buffing away dry, dead skin and calluses off the feet (or wherever). The roller completely rotates 30 times a second to gently break down hard skin to reveal super soft baby feet.

In my experience with pumice stones or other pedicure graters, sometimes even though they take off the dead skin, my feet feel exactly like what they've been through - grated! However, after using the Micro-Pedi, there is not one scraggly piece of dead skin left - just absolute smoothness. 

The entire device fits comfortably in the palm and the interface is about as simple as it can be. There is only one button at the front, which turns it on or off and there is a side clip that releases the roller for replacement. The roller that comes with the Micro-Pedi is Extra Course but there are replacements of different levels such as Super Coarse and Xtreme Coarse for tougher skin. This model takes 2 AA batteries.

To use, you simply turn on the Micro-Pedi and place it lightly on the skin, moving slowly around the area you want to slough off. It is pressure-sensitive to protect you if you push it too hard on the skin and will stop automatically. One session normally takes me about 1 minute on each foot.

I purchased the Emjoi Micro-Pedi Nano on Amazon for $22.95.

Overall, I am really pleased with this nifty gadget! It has gotten my feet just as smooth or smoother than any professional pedicure I've gotten. This works exceptionally well on typical rough skin such as around the heels but I don't think its strong enough to completely remove deep calluses in one use (but those can probably be tackled with the more abrasive refills). The compact size also makes it very easy to travel with to make sure you have soft feet wherever you go!

Thanks for reading!

How are you getting Sandal-ready?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

NOTD: Horizontal Negative Space

I have really been into negative space nail art lately and you'd be surprised how easy it is.

So, negative space nail art is where you leave spaces of your natural nail bare while you paint around it. For today's look, I used French tip stickers to blank out my 'negative space' but you can use masking tape or whatever you have on hand to give a straight edge.

First apply your base coat as usual and after it has dried, place the sticker on the lower half of the nail. Then, use any polish of your choice to paint above and below the sticker. I used an old favorite for my nail color - Revlon's Bold Sangria. While the nail color is still wet, gently remove the sticker, allow to dry and apply your top coat.

And that's it! One easy extra step to your normal nail routine that gives a bold statement!

Thanks for reading!

What nail trends have you tried lately?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Review + Swatch: Maybelline Creamy Mattes "Touch of Spice" Lipstick

Mattes are on everyone's lips (get it?). Maybelline released a full range of matte lipsticks in Fall 2014 that turned heads at the drugstore. The shade I picked up so far is Touch of Spice, which is a browny-mauve that is similar to that oh-so-trendy "Kylie Lip" that's popular right now.

The formula of this lipstick is exactly as the name suggests - it's a creamy matte (oxymoron, maybe?). It doesn't tug on the skin and the finish is consistent throughout the day (i.e. no tightness or dryness). It applies very easily on the lips like a velvet texture with no sheen and there is great color payoff. There is also a light floral-vanilla scent but it doesn't bother me.

As for the wear, I've found that while the application is a matte-lover's dream and the lipstick is very lightweight, it just kind of sits on top of my lips and it rubs off quite easily, which I'm sure is due to all that creamy goodness. I'd say I get about 3-4 hours of solid wear without any eating or drinking.

While I absolutely love the color of this Touch of Spice lipstick, I do have a theory about nudes and lighter shades that they don't grab on to the skin as strongly as a brighter or deeper shade would. So I'm not sure if a red or deep plum in this collection would last longer.

You can find Touch of Spice and the other 9 shades of the Creamy Mattes collection at drugstores for around $6-8.

Overall, I have mixed feelings about this lipstick. I love the color and payoff but I'm a girl who also loves longevity. I love how creamily it applied but I am not a fan of its lasting power and how easily it can be rubbed off. I do think the Creamy Mattes collection is perfectly suited for those with extremely dry lips or now delving into the world of matte lipstick.

Personally, although a traditional matte lipstick is a bit more drying, I think I prefer the security it gives that it will stay on my lips. However, to make Touch of Spice more lasting, wearing a lip liner underneath might just be the trick.

Thanks for reading,

What do you think of the Creamy Matte Lipsticks?