InTruBeauty: August 2012

Friday, August 31, 2012

High End vs. Low End Leave in Conditioner

I have two recent favorites for leave in conditioners that I want to share with you- one is high end and one is low end!  Although the prices are on different spectrums, the quality is one in the same- awesome!  

Unite 7 Seconds Condition Leave in Detangler
Well worth the money, this little gem sprays on and totally detangles hair.  I love to use it on my snarls because I know that there will be minimal tears before I get my hair where it needs to be.

Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Style Milk
I got my bottle of this at Target for $10, but I'm not sure if they sell it elsewhere.  One small squirt of this goes a long away and smells like Hawaii.  I would be hesitant to use it on ultra thin hair because it does weigh it down just a touch.  I love the way my thick, wavy hair responds to this and I've seen it work wonders on a curly head of hair too.  LOVE!

Jessica also recommends Rusk's Smoothing leave in conditioner.  I have not tried much of their brand, but my new shampoo is by them so you may be getting a Rusk product review soon!

Yours in Beauty,

Thursday, August 30, 2012

August Birchbox

August Birchbox

My August Birchbox came about 2 weeks ago and I'm just NOW getting around to posting about it. I don't have a whole bunch to say about my box this month because I saved a couple things aside for the future and I gave a couple things away already.  But I am curious what YOU got, because as my Birchbox points add up, I am starting to think hmmm....what do I want to redeem my points for?

My favorite item:  Surprisingly I loved the Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Le Fleur perfume.  I usually hate getting perfume samples, and I feel like this is at least my second or third Juicy Couture brand fragrance.  However...this one is positively yummy.  It is out of stock in the Birchbox shop, but just smelling it reminded me that I love the regular Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy from their line, so I went to the local discount store and picked up a little bottle.  It's not the exact same fragrance, but the one I got was less sheer so it will last longer.  

My least favorite item:  Stila foundation.  It came in a foil packet that didn't even have enough inside it to cover up one cheek.  For real, Birchbox?  I was annoyed.

Other than that, the box was pretty neat.  I loved getting a razor as a bonus item but I gave it to my mom because the kind I buy is from Costco and I can get mega cheap refills there.  I haven't opened the Yu-be lotion yet.  The Whish shaving cream is pretty nice but there's no way I would spend $20 on shaving cream when my beloved Dr. Bronners lathers up perfectly well and does the job as both my shaving cream AND my body wash.

What did you get?  Now that it's almost September we will be getting our next ones soon already!  If you're not familiar with Birchbox, it is a $10 monthly subscription service where this lovely makeup/perfume/haircare/skincare/lifestyle company sends you a box of 4-5 product samples monthly.  Sometimes they are super tiny, other times a deluxe sample, and sometimes full size.  You fill out your feedback on the items after you receive them and save up your points for full size swag from their beauty shop.  Pretty sweet!

If you think you might be interested in Birchbox, check out this link here:

Yours in Beauty,

Product of the Day! Catwalk Dry Conditioner

Product of the Day! Sun Beam by Benefit

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Clean, Fresh, Nails

I don't know where you are from, but where I live, school started today!  To me, the day school starts seems to officially mark when fall starts.  The weather may not have caught up, and the leaves may not be changing yet, but once it's officially not "summer break" for all the little kiddos, I feel a transition coming on.

This is one of the hardest times of year for me to get dressed or figure out what to wear for makeup!  To me, since it's basically fall, I want to wear knee high boots but it's too hot out.  I want to wear a thick nubby sweater, but once again...too hot out.  I want to paint my nails dark, wintery colors but it's still so sunny out!  It's hard to know when/what to transition.  But one thing I know for sure is that between the ultra summery bright shades and the deep dark wintery shades, one thing that will always be in season is a nude, clean nail.  

Beauty For Real #2 Pink
OPI Bubblebath
Sally Hansen One Step Manicure Shall We Dance

These are three of my very favorite nude pink shades for a clean and fresh nail look.  It's like your favorite lipgloss you carry around because it looks exactly like your natural lip color only better, and it's so easy to wear you always have to have it on you.  That's exactly how I feel about these nail shades. They are near dupes of each other, and nearly perfect for your nails this time of year!

Beauty For Real #2 Pink is part of their Fall Collection (we are reviewing it right now so stay tuned for a post) and has a little light on it so you can paint your nails in the dark, or in the shade, or just feel cool painting your nails with a light.  OPI Bubblebath is a great shade that very closely matches #2 Pink.  I like to build 2-3 layers of each of these shades in order to get a fabulous nail look that doesn't streak.  Some of the nude color family shades have a tendency to look streaky on the nails until you have a few coats on.  And lastly, Sally Hansen in Shall We Dance is a 3-in-1 nail shade.  Base coat, polish, and top coat are all built into one formula.  This took me a while to come around to because the brush is super wide and the formula is really thick and gooey.  Try it a few times before you judge.  

As always, I use a Seche Vite top coat on my nail polish job (unless I'm doing the One Step Manicure by Sally Hansen because it doesn't require a top coat).  

Loving these nude pinks for fall!  So fresh and clean!

Yours in Beauty,

Revolution Organics Lip Gloss Review

Revolution Organics Freedom Lip Gloss:
Company Description: This healthy, good-for-you gloss is rich in vitamins and antioxidants to leave lips beautifully moisturized and gorgeously glossy. Formulated with 100% natural and 85% certified organic ingredients, the product delivers all the benefits of a lip treatment in a gorgeous gloss. The formula is free of chemicals, mineral oil, petroleum, artificial ingredients and parabens. Instead, Freedom Gloss uses organic plant proteins and extracts to give lips a healthy dose of antioxidants and vitamins. Vitamin-rich organic jojoba oil nourishes and conditions, while organic shea butter hydrates and moisturizes. Organic aloe vera and olive oil soothe and soften as organic beeswax protects skin. Packaged in recyclable, biodegradable, eco-chic material, Freedom Gloss infuses lips with all-natural mineral-based pigments, delivering good-for-you color. Retails $26. Click here.
L to R:
Freedom: True Strawberry Red 
Vibe: Fresh Warm Peach 
Truth: Sheer True Pink
Above Photos: No Flash
L to R: Freedom, Vibe, Truth
L to R: Freedom, Vibe, Truth
Above Photos: With Flash

My Review:
I'm really loving this product. Not only do I love that they are free of icky chemicals, they are pigmented non sticky long lasting shades. I hate when companies have different colored glosses that are so sheer that they all look the same. That's not the case with these glosses. They each have such a lovely color to them, differentiating one color from another. I love the subtle shimmer to these product. These feel nice and creamy on your lips and if you hate sticky glosses, these don't feel sticky to me at all. I highly recommend these! I will leave it at a short review as I think the photos and colors speak for themselves! There are 2 other colors available on their website, so be sure to check them out and their other products at:

Check out my prior review of the beauty balms here. 

Yours in Beauty, 


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cures for the End of Summer Sniffles

I'm not talking about a case of the blues, but does anyone else get a late summer cold?  I can't stand it, but I've never made it a full summer in life without catching a little cold/sinus infection somewhere in there.  This year was no exception.  But...I still like to look good despite feeling like total garbage.  A couple lifesavers?

Puffs Plus Lotion
Get a nose tissue that has a little lotion built in, so you are not constantly chaffing your nose.

Hand Sanitizer
Seems like a no brainer, but carry around a little anti-bac in your purse.  It's best to keep your hands as clean as possible when you're not feeling well.  I stock up on them during Bath & Body Works semi-annual sale.

A Fabulous Concealer
I will recommend Benefit's Erase Paste to the ends of the earth.  Dab some around your eyes to get rid of dark circles and shadows caused by no sleep from coughing and around your nose to get rid of redness caused by blowing your nose.

Aloe lotion
I just discovered this wonderful product by Clinique called After-Sun Rescue Balm with Aloe.  It's kind of amazing- oil free and safe for the face and body.  It's really meant for a sunburn.  However, I had some sitting on my nightstand from when I was burnt the other day, and decided to apply it underneath and around my red nose, and wow did it ever make a difference! I highly recommend using this on the chapped skin you may get from the sniffles.  And guess what?  32/32 people on who have reviewed it would recommend it to a friend.  Doesn't get much better than that!

Hope you feel better soon!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pantone Fall Color Report 2012- French Roast

We thought a fun weekly series as we are getting into the Fall season would be doing a weekly post on Pantone's Color Report for Fall!  If you don't know what they are, you can look it up, but basically Pantone dictates what colors are going to be "in" during what seasons.  This fall there are 10 colors including French Roast, Honey Gold, Pink Flambe, Tangerine Tango, Ultramarine Green, Bright Chartreuse, Olympian Blue, Titanium, Rhapsody, and Rose Smoke.

We have to admit that French Roast was a good way to start this series.  Don't these items just remind you of fall?  A thick, nubby, dark sweater, dark lips, coffee, chocolate pearls, sultry nude eyes, over the knee boots, a studded leather wrap watch....yes.  Fall is finally on its way!  Share with us some of your favorites and join us weekly to see another inspiration board for the next color in the lineup!

Pantone Fall Color Report 2012- French Roast

Yours in Beauty,

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sweat Proof Makeup! Rae Cosmetics Review

We were recently sent some products to review from Rae Cosmetics.  Their cosmetic line is specially formulated for athletes, and women who need heat and perspiration resistant makeup.  And really, even if you aren't working up a sweat, isn't it a great feeling to know that your makeup won't slide on you during the day?  Here's what we thought of these products:

Surface Primer SPF 20, $38 for 1 oz
Bungalow Glow Mineral Bronzer, $39 
Bright Eyes, $27

I like this primer just as much as any of my other primers in terms of performance.  I felt like it made a great, lightweight base for my makeup.  My favorite thing about this is the SPF 20, and my least favorite thing was the tiny amount of primer for the high pricetag ($38).

I really love this bronzing palette.  There palette has one matte and one shimmery shade, which is just perfect for achieving a bronze glow and a contour on the cheeks.  I love using the left shade on the apples of my cheeks, and the right shade as a cheek contour and around my hairline.  The only thing I wish I could change would be to have a brush built in underneath so I could more easily tote this around with me, BUT I don't normally touch up my bronzer during the day so maybe that would be a waste of space.

I couldn't really tell if the serum side did much for me.  Did it really tighten up my undereye circles and fine lines?  I honestly couldn't tell a difference.  Also, the water based concealer didn't prove to be enough coverage for me- I normally use a thicker concealer. I did like how lightweight it felt on my skin, but wish the performance delivered a little more.  If I was truly going for a run or getting sweaty I'm not sure it would've stepped up enough to give me the coverage I needed.

Have you ever heard of or tried Rae Cosmetics?  Give them a try or swing by their Facebook page and send them a little love-

These products were sent for review, but do not change my honest opinion.  I was not compensated for this review.

Yours in Beauty,

Chaacoca for your Hair and Skin!

We recently partnered up with a hair and skin care company, Chaacoca.  You can find them at  This is a business that keeps their priorities straight, by using recycled materials whenever possible, paying the people who package their products fair wages, and staying away from sulfates, phosphates, and parabens in their products.  Organic Moroccan Oil is the key ingredient in their great products.  While creeping on their facebook page,  we also discovered the word "chaacoca" means crazy hair in the Moroccan culture.  How funky is that?

We will clue you in on how some of their products worked out for us. These products are also made for all hair and skin types. Do any of our readers use Moroccan Oil?  It truly is the key to have beautiful, healthy hair in our opinion.  We try to use some every day!
Intense Hair Repair Treatment/Mask, $27

Justina's Review: This mask replenishes moisture, helps protect color treated hair, and smells amazing!  I used it on my sunburned scalp a few days ago when it was peeling and flaking off (looked like dandruff, was super gross!) and it definitely helped mend my scalp.  Between the use of the mask and rubbing their argan oil treatment into my scalp, I have had NO problems with my scalp peeling again!  I've also never felt my hair so soft than using this.  I kept my hair in a towel for about 10 minutes while the mask was working its magic, and when I rinsed my hair off it was soooo smooth.  I highly recommend this mask for anyone who wants to give their hair a treat!

Jessica's Review: I have naturally curly, color treated hair that is medium to long and fine. I really like this mask. It has a light pinkish color to it and it is a thick cream consistency. I also love the smell of this. I just had my hair colored and I love it and want to keep my color fresh and vibrant so I was feeling really lucky to get these products to test out. After you rinse out and get out of the shower, your hair literally feels like silk, its great! There is a lot of product in the container and you don't need that much to cover your entire head, so I think this will last many many months. I would estimate around 6 months for medium length hair. 
Argan Oil Treatment, $39
Justina's review: This argan oil treat sinks into hair and provides hydration, eliminates frizz, and reduces drying time.  It's kind of my genie in a bottle lately.  I love the glass bottle, and there is some cute hammered-metal flair as a decoration on it.  Pretty spiffy, and you don't see many companies taking that much time in their packaging.  I love the scent and the feel of this luxurious oil.  It definitely compares to other higher end argan oils I've tried.  

Jessica's review: This smells like argan oil which I guess kind of seems obvious, but with the recent popularity of this ingredient, I see a ton of products that claim to have argan or moroccan oils as ingredients or are infused with them. there seems to be a difference between cheaper products that may have argan oil as a small ingredient among a large list and actual pure organic argan oil like this. I have used a lot of argan/moroccan products and this definitely stands up to other brands. My hair feels very soft after use.

I will say that I absolutely love the bottle design. It is a product you can proudly display in your bathroom. Other products I try to hide otherwise my bathroom looks cluttered. The problem I have with the bottle is the functionality. The oil is much thinner than it would appear through the brown glass bottle. The top is just a circular opening with nothing to help with product control. The oil comes out quickly and if you pour out too much, it may spill over your hand as you're trying to close the cap. Although I think the appearance and quality are great.
Shine Finishing Mist, $19.50

Justina's review: This product gets rid of pesky flyaways while it adds shine to your hair.  If anyone has ever tried an oil finishing mist on their hair, they will know without me saying that it truly brings out the highlights in your hair, or enhances the overall color of your hair.  I recently dyed my hair a darker shade and when I spray this spray on my hair I feel like my hair color instantly becomes richer.  When I flat iron my hair, this spray gives it a really glassy sheen.  I love this product!  

Jessica's review: This is probably my favorite product out of the four. I keep this on the counter in my bathroom and I like to spray it when my hair needs a touch-up. It definitely adds shine and smooths away fly-aways without making your hair look greasy as many of these types of oil spray can do if you apply too much. I think the difference with this product in part is that when you spray it, you get a very fine mist, yet it covers a large area of your hair and so you only need 2-4 sprays, depending on hair length. Love it! And it smells great!
Ghassoul Mineral Clay Body and Face Mask
Justina's review: This is a lot milder of a formula than most clay masks I've used.  Generally speaking, when I use clay masks they feel great going on but I'm a little nervous to wash them off because it's hard to get off with a towel, and I know I'll end up peeling a bunch off, which can be painful.  My skin's not sensitive per se, I would call it normal to dry with occasional breakouts.  I definitely thought this mask helped balance out my skin's oils rather than stripping them.  I was able to easily towel it off with warm water and it left my skin feeling fresh and clean!
I had fun testing this out!
Jessica's review: I'm a huge fan of clay or mud masks because I love the look, texture, and feel. It just feels so earthy and natural to me. This is a little bit thinner consistency than some other clay masks. The ones I have used often times come in a jar instead as they would be harder to get out of a tube. The color is a greenish-brown. There are some tiny little beads which results in some gentle exfoliating action. If your skin is dry like mine, you will need extra lotion after this is rinsed off.

Yours in Beauty, 

Justina & Jessica

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bambola Beauty Product Reviews

Bambola Beauty Product Reviews
About the company: Bambola Beauty offers a unique line of organic skin care products. Made from only the best natural ingredients, Bambola Beauty's spa quality skin care is fragrance and paraben free. Our natural and organic formulas contain anti-aging, cell-regenerating and antioxidants that produce significant results, using only elements from the earth. Beautiful skin ...naturally! (from their website)

Volcanic Mineral Scrub, $15-42
Company Product Information:
Award Winning! Mineral exfoliants harvested from a nutrient rich source gently exfoliate and deep cleanse the skin without stripping. Kukui Nut, which contains Vitamins A, E, F, linoleic and linolenic acids, helps revitalize and restore skin’s normal activity. Organic Shea, Vitamin K and pure botanical extracts protect and moisturize. This unique mask ensures dead skin cell removal and gives an immediate improvement to the appearance of the skin.

Key Ingredients:
Green Tea –Rich in anti-oxidants, reduces inflammation and promotes healthy skin
Kukui Nut – Deeply moisturizing and contains Vitamins A, E, and F
Organic Shea Butter – Absorbs quickly and penetrates deep to moisturize and restore resiliency
Pineapple Enzymes – Gently exfoliates and conditions
Spinach Powder – Contains vitamin K

Jessica's Review:
  • I really like the texture and feel of this product. There isn't too much of a scent, but it is definitely NOT perfumey or anything of that sort. There are small grains you can feel in the product that work to exfoliate. After use, I rinse off and my skin doesn't feel dry at all. I've been using this several times a week and more often than not waking up and not even feeling the huge need to put foundation on which is a huge win in my book!
Justina's Review:
  • This mask had a unique texture- it had small grains but they were very spaced out.  My skin felt really nice after using this and it didn't make my skin feel super tight which is a major plus!  It came with a little paddle to help apply it to my face that I found kind of unnecessary, but all in all, a great product!
Glycolic Sugar Cane Exfoliant
Company Product Information:
A Bambola Beauty favorite! Glycolic is a naturally-occurring, non-toxic Alpha Hydroxy Acid found in Sugar Cane. Glycolic accelerates the removal of dead skin, increases collagen production, and reduces the appearance of fine lines, sun damage and hyper-pigmentation. This exceptional serum also contains Apple Source Malic Acid and Salicylic Acid that diminish large pores, acne scarring, and help clear oily or acne-prone skin.

Key Ingredients:
Apple Acid – Promotes smoother, firmer skin, helps reverse sun damage
Chamomile - Improves the health of skin, soothing and anti-oxidant benefits
Cucumber – Nourishes, clarifies and soothes the skin
Glycolic Acid from sugar cane – Gently exfoliates and moisturizes dry, dull skin

Jessica's Review:
  • This is one of those skincare products that I feel is hard for me to review. I received a smaller sample size of this product, but have been using it a couple times a week for 2-3 weeks. I've been using it in conjunction with the volcanic scrub (alternating days so I don't aggravate my skin). As I stated above, lately, I wake up and don't feel the need to put on foundation. However, there are certainly other times when foundation is an absolute must. So, all together I feel these two products did help my skin's appearance, although it can be hard to tell what did what, especially since I use really great skincare products and have pretty good skin. 
  • This has a light pink color to it and is lightweight. This is not oily or heavy feeling. This gives me a good amount of moisture and I only need to apply a smaller amount of lotion over top. I had no irritations from this and the scent is light to minimal. I also have some scars on my face, but I haven't seen any diminished appearance in the limited time I've been using this.
Justina's Review:
  • This is a hard product for me to review as well, because my skin had a reaction to it!  I'm not sure if I'm allergic to an ingredient or what, but it left a chemical burn across my cheeks and lightly on the rest of my face.  I applied this and within one second of the application, I could feel a burning and stinging sensation. I quickly toweled it off with cold water but had a hard time getting the burning sensation to stop.  I don't have sensitive skin at all, so I'm not sure what the issue was.  I would recommend a patch test on your skin before applying to the whole surface area.
Lip Repair, $9
Company Product Information:
A super hydrating honey and oil based lip conditioner that replenishes dry, cracked lips. Coconut Oil and Olive Oil lock in moisture while nourishing and hydrating dry, chapped lips. Protect your lips from the elements or dehydration with this soothing daily use lip balm.

Key Ingredients:

Honey – soothes and adds softness to the skin, and is an excellent natural moisturizer
Coconut Oil – High source of natural emollients
Olive Oil – Known for its healing qualities and as a natural, deep penetration
moisturizer, regenerating skin cells and softening the tissue

Jessica's Review:
  • This is probably my favorite product out of the three that I tested. I love the scent of this balm and the natural ingredients really work to make my lips look and feel their best. This has a nice wax/thicker cream like texture and applying it once a day seems to do the trick!
Justina's Review:
  • My husband has already hijacked this product from my arsenal.  We both love the thicker texture and the smell is divine.  You can really smell the coconut and honey.  It is a wonderful product.  I would spend $9 on it in the future if it was more easily accessible to me, but have a hard time paying that much for a product when I know I'll be paying shipping on top of that.  

You can request 3 free deluxe samples from their website, but you do have to cover shipping costs of $4.95 (or free with purchase), but this is still a great way to try these before buying a full size. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Revolution Organics Beauty Balm

{Review} Revolution Organics 
Freedom Glow Beauty BalmThe ultimate beauty multi-tasker, $34, 13g or .46oz

Company Description: 100% natural and created with 85% certified organic ingredients, this beauty multi-tasker delivers an instant healthy glow anytime, anywhere. The all-in-one balm infuses lips, cheeks, eyes, and d├ęcolletage with a natural, dewy radiance. Perfectly portable and ideal for on the go, the easy-to-use formula provides skincare and color in one for a hydrating hint of tint
L to R: Bronzed, Blushed, Sunkissed
This gorgeous coral shade was my favorite! 
Sunkissed on lids, cheeks, and lips. Only other makeup is mascara.
L to R: Blushed, Sunkissed
All-Over Body Balm, $22, 15grams, .5oz
Company Description: The only on-the-go product you need, with over 22 uses from your nose to your toes.This portable all-over certified organic solid moisturizing balm instantly softens and smoothes skin. Enriched with organic butters and nourishing organic oils rich in vitamins A, B,C and E. With over 22 uses from your nose to your toes, use anywhere, anytime for the entire family. 

My review
  • I applied this on my brows, elbows, hands, nails/cuticles, and lips. I love the smell and consistency of this. The packaging makes it an easy product to use. I noticed moisturizing action right away after it sunk into my skin. The only problem I have is that I wouldn't necessarily want to use a product on my heels and my lips, etc. So I guess I will be limiting the area of use a bit. Although I love that it has over 22 uses and would be an absolute great product to pack with you when traveling. This is a clear balm in stick form.
Have you tried these products? I'm loving that they are natural and organic (see product information for more details.). Any product that has great packaging, is easy to use, and has multiple uses is a product any woman will love, especially when on the go or traveling. I keep about 5 or 6 items at the office just for touch-ups or for days when I didn't have a chance to do my makeup. And right here I could bring this 1 product in to replace 3! How great is that! Thanks Revolution Organics for these wonderful balms! 

Yours in Beauty, 


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Smashbox Fall Collection

Take a look at Smashbox's Fall Collection. I am in love with all of these colors. It really is the complete color collection you would need for fall!

LIP ENHANCING GLOSS DUO ($24): Gloss your pout to perfection with this luxe, longwearing formula with ultra-cushiony applicator. Shades: Fab/Snappy, Luxe/Chic
AIRBRUSH WHIPPED CHEEK COLOR ($29): This luxe, lightweight blush gives cheeks a naturally radiant glow. With ultra-fine pigments for supreme blendability and silicone elastomers that diminish imperfections, this mousse-like formula delivers an instant airbrushed effect. Shades: Berry Bliss, Dusty Rose
PHOTO OP EYE SHADOW PALETTE ($39): Create eye looks hot off our sets with this palette of ultra-blendable shadows in the season’s trendiest shades. The richly pigmented, velvety shadows are crease- and fade-resistant for flawless, iconic eye looks. Includes double-ended brush. Shades: Icon, Muse

· WATERPROOF SHADOW LINER ($22): Effortlessly line and define your eyes with this creamy, mistake-proof shadow liner. This versatile formula offers soft definition in one quick step—smudge as a liner or blend as a shadow for radiant, all-over color. Shades: Bronze, Charcoal.

Yours in Beauty, 

*Images and product information provided from Smashbox and/or PR representative.

Vapour Organic Beauty

We were recently given the opportunity to check out some beauty products by Vapour Organic Beauty.  They have won some awards through Allure Magazine, and we noticed them in the Birchbox shop last month.  Have any of you tried them through Birchbox or through purchasing them on your own?  We knew we had to check out this company when we realized they were organic AND winning beauty awards.  Our eyes were drawn to the chic packaging- blue metal and plastic tubes house most of the products this company offers.  You can check them out in more detail at

Mesmerize Eye Shimmer, Provoke

I was immediately drawn to this color on their website because of the uniqueness of the shade- it seems to be a lavender infused hot pink.  As far as I can tell, these shades are not meant to be applied with a primer.  The info on their website admits that since there are no chemical additives, it's not long wearing.  It can be applied "sheer" to the lids or you can apply a mineral powder to add intensity- but note that they don't carry any.  This is a gorgeous shade, and I loved the way it looked on the lids. When I applied it by itself, it lasted literally 3 minutes- I backed out of my driveway, took a look in my rearview mirror, and went "whoa, creases!" All that was left behind was giant sparkly chunks.  I didn't bring it with me to retouch, so I was stuck with sheer sparkly lids that became greasy and my eyeliner slid off with it as the day wore on.  I tried to get a picture of it immediately after applying it on my lids, but it faded so quickly that the picture doesn't do it justice.  Wearing it with primer underneath decreases the intensity of the shade by a lot.

In this picture, the top swatch is Provoke applied over top of Urban Decay Primer Potion.  The bottom swatch is Provoke by itself.  Huge difference!  The primer takes away 90% of the intensity and beauty of the shade.
Siren Lipstick in Au Pair (left)

This is a beautiful mauvey brown color great for year round and goes on creamier than most organic lipsticks I've tried.  Over the span of a few hours it did fade in patches on my lips, and required a few touch ups, but did hydrate my lips while it was there.  When it did finally fade away to nothing, I noticed I did have a bit of a ring around my lips from the residual product.  If you are not opposed to re-applying during this day, this lipstick does feel great on the lips!  I enjoy the creamy texture and the  gorgeous color.

Aura Stain in Impulse (right)

This has the ability to be a star product in your makeup routine if you have the time to play with it a bit.  I recommend the first couple applications of this product be right before you take your makeup off for the night so you get a chance to play but don't have to wear it in public.  I enjoy this as a cheek stain, and even got it to work as a lip stain.  The key to this product on the cheeks as to keep application to a bare minimum.  A little goes an extremely long way, and if you apply to much it's easy to look very garrish.  I had a hard time blending when I applied too much, so keep that in mind and you should have beautifully rosy cheeks that Snow White would envy!

Aura Shimmer in Charisma

This is a product that won some Allure Beauty awards.  I see why because the texture and color of these are awesome.  I love applying just a little bit of this shimmer as a blush.  Over time, it fades during the day leaving major glitter chunks.  This can be pretty, and overall I really like glitter on my cheeks when I'm having a great skin day.  I think this product looks great on a tan, and would look great on paler skin in the winter.  It brightens up my complexion and gives me a nice glow when I wear it.  I see why this is one of the more popular products in their collection!

If you are into organic beauty, I would recommend checking out Vapour Organic Beauty!  They have some really unique shades on their site that I haven't seen in other makeup lines, much less organic.  If you have tried this line, tell us, what was your favorite product?

Yours in Beauty,

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Best of the Best: Archived Shopping Secrets

While I am working on a post about how I got the below products all for free, please check out our past posts with great money saving and deal finding tips! 

8 products! COST: FREE

Secrets from the Makeup Counter:

Shopping Secrets: (our 1st joint video, eek! And be sure to watch around 1:45)

Shopping Secrets:

Holiday Shopping Finds:

What can $11 get you?

Clearance Haul:

Look Great on Clearance Budget:

Be Beautiful for .99cents:

Perfect Red lipstick (.99cents):

Maybelline Nearly There

Short but sweet little post about one of my favorite lip products lately and how I found it:

Maybelline's Nearly There lipstick has been one of my favorites lately. I discovered it when I was paging through a magazine.  The model in the ad was wearing it and it was just so pretty I knew I had to pick one up.  I always write down must have little makeup items in my sticky notes feature of my smart phone.  I found this at Target for $5.50, which is a good $2 cheaper than anywhere else in my town was selling it.

Ha ha, classic emo car pose!  I was at a red light, I swear!  

I think this is the perfect nude lip for fall.  I was obsessing over a similar shade from Clinique, that I can't remember now off the top of my head, but this one beats it.  I love the subtle shimmer, and the fact that it's a bronzy nude that looks great with a smoky eye.

Any lipstick that grabs your attention lately?  Please share!

Yours in Beauty,

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mascara Induced Eye Infection or Eye-giene Issue?

Lately I've had some issues with my eyes hurting, getting allergy infested crusties in my tear ducts, and my eyes just being sore.  What gives?  I've changed a few things about my eye routine and it's been helping a lot, so I thought I'd share.  Heads up- I've been wearing contacts for almost 15 years.  Some of my tips are directed only at contacts users, others will work for everyone.

1.  Every morning when I wake up I use a warm, wet washcloth on my eyes. I get in my tear ducts, look in the bottom rims of my eyelids to ensure I'm not eeking slimy strips of mascara from last night, and get any residue off my eyes.  I follow up with another swipe of eye makeup remover.  I am always thorough at night, but this just gives me an extra clean eye area, and a fresh canvas for more makeup today!

2.  I always wash my hands before putting my contacts in.  Always.  I also wash my hands if I put product in my hair before I do my makeup so I don't cross-contaminate and get anything on my face not meant to be there!  I've made the mistake of thinking I had an eye infection from certain products I was using but really I was putting a gunk covered finger straight into my eye.  Just about anything can cause an infection, so be careful and wash your hands!

3.  Eye drops are good, but only use as needed!  I always carry them in my purse with me.  If you use them tons over time, they are supposed to actually dry your eyes out worse, but if you just need a little boost every so often, feel free.  Make sure if you wear contacts, you get some that are optimized for contact users.  They also sell red eye drops, and allergy sufferers eye drops.  If you've ever had eye allergies you know how itchy then can get, it's unbearable!

Little container thing for contacts- the bottom gray part is a neutralizing metal that reacts with the solution and cleans your contacts really well.

4.  I use a special contact solution that comes with a little neutralizing metal container.  My contacts basically marinate in this ultra cleansing solution for 6 hours or more and get super super clean.  I've noticed a drastic difference in the way my contacts feel when I use a cheaper store brand rather than a brand that is found at the eye doctors', so this is not a place to skimp and save.  You should buy the ultra clean solution and keep the little red cap on it so you remember, it's NOT for use re wetting your lenses during the day if they fall out- it MUST be neutralized.  Anyone who has ever made this mistake understands how painful this mistake is.  If your contact falls in the sink while you're putting it in, you can rinse it off with regular solution. Or if you are taking a nap and you will not be napping for 6 full hours, use a regular solution in the regular case.  But as often as you can, try to bathe your contacts in the REALLY good stuff.  I swear your eyes will feel so much better.

5.  If you have really dry eyes or suffer from allergies, I recommend using a gel eye drop at night. I swear by Systane.  It comes out like Vaseline from the tube, and I apply it with a clean finger to the rims of my eyes.  You put it on at night because it can make your vision a bit cloudy since it's like a gel.  But you wake up good as new!  My eye doctor recommended Systane products and I love them.

6. Get a really chic pair of glasses and every few weeks wear them instead of contacts to give your eyes a break.  Your eyes will love you for the break and the extra oxygen flow to your eyes!

7.  Try to switch from contacts to glasses for at least 2 hours if possible before you get some shut eye. Your eyes will feel better the next morning if you let them get a little oxygen and not have to focus through a lens stuck to your eye.

8.  Always remove your contacts at night and take special care to get all of your eye makeup off.  Pull down your bottom lid and try to get any floating eye makeup out with a q-tip, but be gentle.  If you wear waterproof mascara or liner, you will need special eye makeup remover to ensure it all gets removed.

It has taken me many years to get to the point where I feel like I'm actually very hygienic with my lenses.  My eyes used to bother me so much and I'd always switch out my mascara, but now I know I just wasn't being very clean with my eyes!

Do you have a way that you take care of your eyes?  Please share your tips!

Yours in Beauty,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Crack: a habit forming hair fix

Crack: a habit forming hair fix 
Retails $17-20
Company Product Description:
Instant gratification. Memorable results.
  • Lightweight, super moisturizing Hair Fix
  • Smooths Split Ends
  • Protects from UVA/UVB rays and chlorine
  • Provides barrier from heat and thermal styling
  • Adds shine and slip without making hair greasy
  • Keeps hair looking healthy and polished all day

Jessica's Review

My hair on crack, after straightening 

The #1 thing I noticed as a result of this product was just how really soft my hair was. The second thing I noticed was that my hair was really smooth. I have naturally curly hair and this worked on both curly and straightened hair. A little goes a long way and if you apply too much, you may be a weighted down greasy look. I would use a dime sized amount, that seems to be perfect for my hair length which is medium and thickness which is fine to medium. This doesn't really have any particular discernable scent. It is a thick cream like formula. I really like products that are an all in one product and overall I really liked this product and how soft and smooth it made my hair. I also liked the simplicity and easy of only having to use one product whereas normally I may use a leave in conditioner, smoothing cream or shine gel, heat protectant, hairspray, etc. 

Justina's Review:

I agree with Jessica's assessment of her hair being so soft.  I cheated a little bit and used it post blowdrying on my dry hair.  The reason being because I was so excited to test it out but had already washed my hair (I only wash about every 3 days) and wanted to test drive it on a day my hair had no other styling products and had been up in a pony tail all day.  I worked it through from roots to tips, a dime sized amount.  My hair is thick, wavy texture, and coarse.  I didn't notice much of a scent that I could really place- maybe slightly chemically but nothing overpowering or strong.  I love how soft this made my hair, and I love that it does so many things.  I have never heard of a heat protectant that protects against chlorine, and helps mend split ends.  My hair sucked the product right up and I'm left with soft, smooth strands, and no greasy product residue.  I used my much loved Tigi Pro Straightener  in conjunction with this product to get the finished results:

Check out their video here for more information:

Yours in Beauty Crack,
Justina & Jessica

Friday, August 17, 2012

Olympian-Worthy Eye Shadow!

The broadcasting of the Olympics is a neat time of year.  I prefer the Winter Olympics and watching all the figuring skating ladies, so I haven't really gotten too deep into watching the sporting events this time around.  I HAVE however enjoyed seeing all the cool beauty trends that are happening in the Olympics, like the swimmers sporting their sweet nail art.  We all know a toddler could paint my nails better than I could, so that's out, but I do consider my eyeshadow collection gold medal worthy!  And why stop there?  I could outfit first, second, and third place with a smorgasbord of eyeshadows to choose from.  Guess what?  I just used the word "smorgasbord" for the first time ever.  The only other time I've heard it used is when Wilbur from Charlotte's Web sings, "the fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord....." in the barnyard.  Ok, so anyways, here are the shadows.

Clinique Strike it Rich
Lancome Pose
Mahya Cosmetics You and Me
Urban Decay Baked
Urban Decay Limelight

Benefit Birthday Suit
Mahya Cosmetics Elegant
Lancome All That Glitters
Clinique Salt and Pepper
Estee Lauder Cyber Silver

Benefit Busy Signal
Clinique Rum Spice
theBalm Racy Kacy
Mahya Cosmetics Scandal

And of course, I can't swatch without playing around!  I am wearing a veritable smorgasbord of bronze shadows on my upper lid, and "All that Glitters" on my lower lash line.  

Yours in Beauty,


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