Friday, November 28, 2014

Josie Maran Winter Dreams Holiday Collection

This is a review I'm seriously excited to share with you. The Josie Maran Winter Dreams Argan Color Collection is one of my most lust worthy holiday picks this year and I'm so glad I got the chance to test it out for you. I'm a big fan of Josie Maran's products to begin with. I've tried her Argan oil, lip products and most recently her cheek and lip and creamy cheek oils (I'll be reviewing these soon).
Press Sample 
Set contains: 
  • - 0.17 oz Argan Black Oil Mascara 
  • - 0.16 oz Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink 
  • - 0.16 oz Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow in Rio de Rose Gold 
  • - 0.15 oz Argan Illuminizer
  • - 0.5 oz 100% Pure Argan Oil Light

The main reasons I really wanted this set was that I had been wanting to try the illuminizer since I first spotted it in summer and second since I've been loving her lip and cheek creamy oils so much that I couldn't wait to try another color. I also have never tried a mascara by Josie Maran so I was curious to see if I liked it and I also just loved the design and packaging. At $34 I think this is a really affordable holiday gift set that any woman would love. There is also a second Winter Dreams collection that is more focused on skincare. If you're buying for someone who is more of a makeup lover, I'd reach for this set first. Available at Sephora. 

The products included are surprisingly versatile. I first tried the Rio de Rose Gold eyeshadow which is a watercolor eyeshadow product by dabbing a tiny amount on my lid and blending it out into a fine layer. Simply shake the bottle and use the applicator to dab some product on your lids. I used my finger to blend this out. I found the look to be subtle and natural. I applied this over a primer. I did notice upon the first application that there was minor creasing. Later in the day I applied a second layer of this for a bolder look. There was no creasing at all. The next day I applied this in one layer but did a heavier layer. I did not notice any creasing or fading and hours later it still looks flawless. As seen above you can apply this in a thin layer and blend it out or you can build the color up for a more pigmented bold look. This dries rather quickly, so just be sure to blend it out with your finger quickly. I thought this type of product would be more of a pain to use but it was actually super easy and I love love love the results. 

Wearing Limitless Pink on cheeks and lips, Rio de Rose gold eyeshadow, illuminizer on cheeks and under brows, argan black oil mascara, tarte cc primer stick for foundation.
The illuminizer is also versatile in that you can blend it and apply it with your foundation, blend it into the apples of your cheeks, use as a highlighter on your cheekbone or as a highlight under your brow or in the inner corner of your eye. My favorite way so far to use this is to apply one tiny pump of product to my hand. I then use a flat blending brush to pick up some product and in a circular motion work it into the brush a little bit. I then apply it to the apples of my cheeks as I would a blush and bring it back out to the hairline. (This is also how I apply the liquid cheek color in this set). 

Wearing Limitless Pink on Cheeks and Lips, Illuminizer on cheeks, eyeshadow is Rio de Rose Gold, eyeliner is Underground by Urban Decay, foundation is tarte cc primer stick, brows are Paula Dorf, mascara is tarte lights, camera, flashes. 
You can apply the lip color by squeezing a little bit out onto your finger and applying it onto your lips for a natural flush of color. You can also use a lip brush for a more pigmented look as seen above. I didn't try the argan oil from this collection yet but I have used it in the past and have really liked it. It was definitely a good bonus for me. One product that left me a little disappointed was the mascara. Although I loved at first the hourglass type shaped brush and the length I got with this product, I wasn't as pleased with the volume. I thought my lashes looked a little stiff and stuck together a bit. If you've already got a lot of volume to your lashes and are just looking for some major length, this may work a little better for you. I've only tried it once, so maybe it will grow on me! 

Final thoughts:
Overall I highly recommend this set. I'm addicted to the lip and cheek creamy oils and am glad to add another to my collection. I think this is such a good value for $34. The included products really are useable and versatile. I was actually surprised with the multiple wears and looks you can get from this set. I'm also surprised that such a simple routine with a few of these key products can really create just such a beautiful natural luminous look. I certainly feel beautiful wearing this kit! So head out and get one for yourself or the woman you love in your life! Remember if this isn't exactly your cup of tea there is also a Winter Dreams Skincare Collection which retails for $39. It includes Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment which is one of my favorite Josie Maran products!

What do you think of this set and the look I got? Comment and let me know, I'd love to hear!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

tarte Chic to Cheek Deluxe Amazonian Clay Blush Set

After reading Justina's Gems lovely review and realizing this set was getting harder to find, I figured I better get my review up asap! (This set is limited edition!) This is probably my most favorite purchase that I can think of recently. Not only is this a good value, but I also think the color selection is just perfect. What actually drew me to this set besides that fact that I love anything and everything tarte is that it had some blush colors that I didn't already have in my collection. And that can be a hard thing to do since I'm also a blush addict! I really loved that they paired some more traditional colors like classic and amour with some colors I wouldn't typically reach for like prim and daydream. I've absolutely loved how each and every colors works with my skin tone though.

classic (soft apricot pink)
daydream (rosy pink)
amour (candy pink)
prim (plum nude)
4-piece set of best-selling, long-wearing blushes infused with skin-balancing Amazonian clay. The heavenly, limited-edition shades deliver up to 12 hours of fade-free, flawless wear, even as you’re up in the clouds, dancing the night away. This romantically designed set also comes in gorgeous gift box packaging and is ideal for any blush enthusiast on your gift list. Retails $35. Each blush is .05 oz.

Available at and I highly recommend picking up this limited edition set before it is gone. Before this purchase, I was already familiar with tarte's blushes and was already a fan. I was thrilled to be able to add 4 more deluxe sized blushes to my collection. I love love love the color selection in this set and for $35 it really is an affordable treat for yourself or gift for a loved one for the holiday. I found the performance of these blushes to be right on par with the permanent line and other full sized blush products I have tried from tarte. I found the wear to definitely last most of the work day. All of these colors were subtle and natural and yet really did perform well in that I thought I got a lot of impact (good color payoff, professional and natural look, brightened overall appearance).
Wearing classic & prim layered 

What do you think of this 4 piece set from tarte? Comment and let me know, I'd love to hear!

Friday, November 21, 2014

How to get Voluminous Hair with VOLOOM

Going to the salon or drugstore, one of the type of products that are abundant are volumizing products. I think most women regardless of hair type have had this problem! I have naturally curly hair and so my hair can appear to have more volume when in actuality it is a fine texture. When I straighten my hair I miss having some of that volume that my curls naturally provides. Instead of using yet another product to try to get that volume into my hair, I've been turning to VOLOOM. I've definitely never seen anything like this. It is a hair tool that appears to look like a straightener at first glance but you will see that there are plates inside that look very different. When applying the VOLOOM tool to sections of your hair, it essentially creates a crimped look which creates volume in seconds. 
Press Sample

• Lush Volume in minutes
• Fresh lift to 2nd & 3rd day hair
• Height & grip to ponytails and updos
• Anti-aging fullness & body
• Heat-protective ionic, ceramic technology

VOLOOM creates hidden volumizing structure in the under-layers of the hair, lifting the top layers up and away from the scalp. Find out more here:

How to use:
Start with your normal hair style.
VOLOOM is used on dry, styled hair to add volume. Begin with your hair parted normally. You don’t need any mousses, gels or sprays!

Section off top layer, use VOLOOM on under-layers.

Section off the top layer of hair and clip to the side. VOLOOM is used on the under-layers of hair, which are covered by an untreated top layer. Clamp and release VOLOOM quickly on the hair nearest the scalp and a few inches down. 

Repeat on other side. More layers, more volume!
Repeat this process on the other side and the back if needed. Then unclip and Voilà!!! VOLOOM adds layers of volumizing structure to your hair, lifting up and away from your scalp. Find out more here.
See the how to video here: Try this in a risk free 30 day trial and only pay three payments of $43.33 with free shipping.

Final thoughts:
This product was really easy to use and really only took seconds. I liked that I didn't need to use another product in my hair to create this effect. The tool certainly worked in the way that it was advertised in that you can obviously see that my hair is much more voluminious in the after picture. The only issue I had was that because my hair is so thin that you could see some of the crimped layers even though I didn't crimp the very top layer. Some of the crimped parts would peek through the top. It wasn't that noticeable however. I think if you have a little thicker hair that it may not be a problem for you. Overall I found this to work well and be easy to use.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Conair Infiniti Pro Argan Oil Treatment Strip Brush {Review}

About the Conair Infiniti Pro Argan Oil Treatment Strip Finishing Brush:
Detangle and gloss at the same time with this non-greasy hair brush containing pure argan oil and which deposits it every time you brush!The replaceable argan oil treatment strip adds maximum conditioning and protection for revitalized, healthy-looking results and brilliant shine.
My thoughts:
I'm not sure if there are other brushes out there like this one that have an oil strip within the brush, but I sure haven't seen anything like this. I was definitely impressed with the concept when I received this brush. I've used a lot of argan oil products in the past and have had really good results with it so I was super excited to test out a brush that had an oil strip built right in. This is super easy too as the oil strip comes separately with the brush and it is every easy to place the strip right in in the middle of the brush. This strip lasts for multiple brushings and is replaceable. 

In order to see if this really worked, I straightened all of my hair. I then parted it in the middle and used the brush on only half of my hair and compared to the half of my hair I had not used the brush on. I definitely noticed the half of my hair I did use the brush on was noticeably softer, smoother and had less frizz. Frizz is something I'm constantly battling and trying to get my hair as smooth and soft as possible is an ongoing battle. I always think too that a product really works when your boyfriend actually notices the difference in  your hair. He has actually mentioned this brush since I first used it. If a man notices a difference in your hair, I consider the product a major success! :) 

This is affordable as it retails at $12.99. There is one strip included with the brush. I've found that I've gotten the best results as the strip was newer, but I've probably used it around 6-7 times and still feel I am getting some noticeable results from it. Also be sure to place the plastic cover over the argan strip after use to keep it free of debris and to make it last longer. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sephora VIB Sale and Holiday Gift Guide

Sephora VIB Sale and Holiday Gift Guide 

This is the time of year to really get the best value for your money when it comes to makeup. There are just so many amazing holiday beauty sets at a great value. I also love that this is a time when you can try a lot more mini and deluxe product sizes. At least for me, it's rare to ever hit pan on a product or to use up a full lipstick. This makes it a great time for me to stock up on some favorites and try out some new products I've been lusting after without breaking the bank. In trying to decide what I wanted to purchase for myself and also put on my Christmas list, the value of the product I'm getting is one of the factors I greatly consider. Here are some of my picks for the Sephora VIB sale and your Holiday Wish List! Please comment and let me know what you picked up or is top on your wish list!
Sephora VIB Wish List

Give Me More Lip, $59, $192 value
A 17-piece, must-have lip sampler set of sticks, glosses, liners, treatments, tars, liquids, balms, and creams in an irresistible array of red, pink, nude, and berry shades.

A giftable set of four mini versions of Bite’s favorite High Pigment lip pencil shades in a purse-sized tin compact. - 4 x 0.05 oz Limited-edition high pigment pencil in Sablé (nude), Pomegranate (rose berry), Rhubard (plum rose), Winterberry (festive Raspberry red)

Benefit Cosmetics, Cheeky Sweet Spot Box O' Blushes, $36
A kit with four of Benefit’s must-have blushes, highlighters, face powders, and a tips and tricks guide. This is a great value if you can get over the clunky metal holiday packaging!

A limited-edition blush palette with three shades of Ambient Lighting Blush for seamless, soft-focus, and multidimensional color. -3 x 0.11 oz Cheek shades in Luminous Flush (champagne rose), Incandescent Electra (cool peach), Mood Exposure (soft plum). This doesn't fit within the great value category of the others I've listed here, however, it is just one of those luxury items that is worth the splurge! 

tarte Bon Voyage Collector's Set And Travel Bag, $59, $423 value
A chic, portable travel bag filled with a collection of limited-edition, oversized must-have beauty essentials for the eyes, lips, cheeks, and complexion. See my review here. 

An eight-piece, curated collector’s set of tarte’s award-winning LipSurgence™ lip tints, and lip glosses—all in charming, new limited-edition shades. - 4 x 0.056 oz Deluxe LipSurgence lip tints in Dreamy (cool raspberry), Alluring (mauve), Innocent (warm nude), Dainty (pink)
- 2 x 0.056 oz Deluxe LipSurgence matte lip tints in Eternal (pinky nude), Fancy (plum berry)
- 2 x 0.05 oz Deluxe LipSurgence lip glosses in Kiss (light pink), Belle (raspberry) 

A colorful collection of Josie's go-to products for a full, fresh-faced look. - 0.17 oz Argan Black Oil Mascara - 0.16 oz Argan Infinity Lip and Cheek Creamy Oil in Limitless Pink - 0.16 oz Coconut Watercolor Eyeshadow in Rio de Rose Gold - 0.15 oz Argan Illuminizer- 0.5 oz 100% Pure Argan Oil Light. Note that there are two different Winter Dreams Argan Color Collections sets. This is my top pick personally because I love mascara and I'm loving Josie Maran's lip and cheek creamy oil. The other set is the perfect pick if you're looking to combat winter skin. 

Too Faced Bronzer Wardrobe, $22, $55 value
This giftable, five-piece bronzing collection is filled with four deluxe-size, bestselling bronzers, ranging from shimmer to matte finishes, to create bronzing looks for any mood—plus the Cruelty-Free Teddy Bear Hair Flatbuki Brush. 4 x 0.08 oz Bronzers in Soleil, Milk Chocolate Soleil, Sun Bunny, Endless Summer. Cruelty-Free Teddy Bear Hair Flatbuki Brush. I picked this up the moment I saw it! I've been wanting Chocolate and Milk Chocolate Soleil for a long time now but didn't want to spend $30 on each when I would barley make a dent into the products. This was the perfect set for me because I get those two bronzers I've been lusting after in a deluxe size plus 2 others that look just fantastic as well. These are perfect for travel, the paper packaging is just a little chinsy. However with the 20% off, I paid just over $17 so it was still a great deal for me. 

Laura Mercier Artist's Palette For Eyes & Cheeks, $58
An exclusive palette of colors for eyes and cheeks. - 8 X 0.03 oz Eye shadow in Vanilla Nuts, Stone Taupe, Pewter, Deep Night, Topaz, Morning Dew, Cashmere, Crystal Beige - 0.24 oz Rose Gold Shimmer. 

beautyblender Fantastic Four, $39
Contains original beautyblender® – to flawlessly apply foundations, powders, BB Creams and CC Creams. beautyblender® pro – for darker-toned products such as bronzer and self tanner. beautyblender® – for concealers and precision contouring and highlighting. beautyblender® solid – to keep them all spotlessly high-performance.

Bite Beauty Mix and Mingle, $98, $190 valueA limited-edition, holiday assortment of ten deluxe, sample-sized shades of Bite’s must-haves: Lush Fruit Lip Gloss, Luminous Crème Lipstick Duos, and Matte Crème Lip Crayons. - 5 x 0.05 oz Luminous Crème lipstick duo in Tangerine/Lingonberry, Poppy/Scarlet, Fig/Date, Palomino/Violet, Tannin/Riesling - 3 x 0.05 oz Matte Crème lip crayon in Gavi, Glacé, Maraschino - 2 x 0.05 Lush Fruit lip gloss in Honey, Guava

Happy Shopping! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Georgia by Robin McGraw Debuts on HSN

Light. Elegant. Invigorating. Sensual. 
A scent that expresses the spirit of being a woman. 
A new fragrance by Robin McGraw.

With fall in full swing and the holidays right around the corner, I'm always looking for fresh new fragrances. The launch of Georgia by Robin McGraw came just in time for me and debuts on HSN on October 28th, 2014. If you're looking for the perfect classic feminine scent for you or yours, be sure to tune in!

Press Sample

Robin McGraw's debut fragrance, Georgia by Robin McGraw, inspired by the spirit, love, power and courage of her mother Georgia, embodies and inspires a woman of great optimism and inner strength. $58.00 // 1.7 fl oz. The Georgia by Robin McGraw collection will include a scented hydrating body butter ($30/8 fl oz), foaming shower gel ($28/8 fl oz) and moisturizing hand cream ($18/3 fl oz).

My thoughts:
I love that this is inspired by Robin McGraw's mother and that she put so much time and effort into developing her first fragrance. I love the stylish yet classic packaging and design of the bottle. It certainly makes it a piece you'd be happy to showcase in your collection or in your bathroom. I was really excited to try this fragrance when I read what the top, middle and base notes were (see photo above). It sounded like a really unique yet beautiful pairing of scents. I can be sensitive to some fragrances but this one was not overwhelming at all. I think it is a feminine scent yet it is mature and classic as well. If you're looking for a gift for your mother, mother-in-law, sister, etc I think this would be something they would absolutely love. This debuts on HSN on October 28th, 2014 so be sure to tune in! 

When Georgia Smiled, The Robin McGraw Revelation Foundation helps the fight against domestic violence. $1 from every purchase will go to the foundation and HSN will match the donation. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

tarte Rainforest After Dark Limited Edition palette {Review}

One of my absolute favorite palettes for fall is the tarte rainforest after dark limited edition palette. Okay, first look at this packaging! Tarte makes it hard to even throw out the box this palette comes in. I also love the snake design on the cover of the palette with the purple jeweled eye. Tarte always has great attention to detail with their palettes and gift sets! I also love that this contains a nice mix of different eyeshadow colors with a highlighter, bronzer and blush. Because of the pairing of product types and colors, this becomes a must have travel palette. 
Press Sample 

Product Description: ($38)
A limited-edition, colored clay eye and cheek palette for day to night looks. Inspired by the rain forest’s deep orchid hues at dusk, Tarte’s limited-edition eye and cheek palette has everything you need to create sultry and sophisticated day to night looks. Infused with colored clay, which naturally color-corrects as it supports oil control, this makeup provides longer wear and truer color payoff. This modern ingredient from the mountainous regions of Brazil brightens, evens, and soothes skin, while the velvety formula glides on and delivers rich color—without settling into fine lines and wrinkles. Available at Sephora.

- 0.14 oz Highlighter in Champagne 
- 0.14 oz Bronzer in Park Avenue Princess™ 
- 0.21 oz Blush in Unleashed (nude rose) 
- 6 x 0.035 oz eyeshadows in Bare to Explore (pink beige), Make a Mauve (plum mauve), Plum Away with Me (dark plum), Up to No Gold (gold), Tan-gled Up in You (tan), Don’t Turn A-Brown (dark brown) 
- Step-by-Step Glamour Guide

I love pairing this palette with a tarte lipsurgence in the color Envy which is a mauve berry shade. This is probably my favorite tarte lipsurgence shade and I have just about every shade of them! I love the berry mauve because it is just a very flattering and wearable color for me. This is definitely a must have for the work day, a casual fall date or just hanging out with friends. I also like the formulation and pigmentation of this gloss. 

Final Thoughts:
For $38, I think the rainforest after dark palette is a really good value. I own a lot of palettes and yet I've been reaching for this one very frequently. I love the convenience of this palette and that it basically includes half of what I need for a complete makeup look. The blush on my fair skin shows up as a nice natural light pink. Because of my skintone, the blush was a really nice addition for me although if you have a darker skintone, you may not see as much color payoff. I also highly recommend pairing this palette with the tarte lipsurgence in envy. I love the combination of the browns, puples and golds in the palette with this mauve berry shade.

What are your thoughts on this palette? Does it strike your eye for fall?


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