Just Some Fun Stuff…

Neiman Marcus is currently hosting their beauty event both in-store and online! When you make a $100 purchase on either beauty or perfume products you get a gorgeous tote bag and tons of samples (retailing for well over $100).  Click here to check out the tote and samples from Laura Mercier, Givency, Prada, Sisley-Paris, and more!


There’s also a ton of other beauty offers from different designers here.  If you need any essentials, stock up here so you can score some free stuff!



Alsooooo…Birchbox is having a giveaway with PureWow, which is a lifestyle email filled with food, travel, beauty, and fashion information.  The prize is 6 one-year subscriptions to Birchbox and $300 to spend in the Birchbox store.  The more friends you refer, the more entries you get!  Click here for the entry page!

Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Mask

 I decided this was a perfect time to write about the Body Shop Vitamin E Moisture Mask because…it’s currently on my face.  
If you don’t know, vitamin E is fabulous for your skin…and your body in general.  It’s an antioxidant which helps the skin battle pollution and sun damage.  It also seriously helps in the anti-aging category.  It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and keeps the skin super hydrated.  Lastly, it can also help fade any scars you may have, for example any acne scarring.

It’s basically a super thick lotion, you apply it all over the face and leave it on for however long you’d like.  They suggest minimum 10 minutes…you can even sleep with it on if you have super dry skin and are looking for a serious treatment.  Also, you just tissue off the mask, no water required, which helps to allow the moisture to be locked in.
The main ingredients are vitamin E (duh), cotton seed oil, rice bran, and organic soya oil.  These other ingredients (besides the vitamin E) have repair and healing properties in them which is why the longer you leave it on, the potentially better results! 
I really love this mask and I try to use it once a week.  It’s very calming and cooling, unlike most masks that have the tingling feeling to them.  You have to remember the purpose of this mask is not to clear up skin or unclog pores– it’s to hydrate and repair aging or sun damage. 
This will be perfect to battle the harsh winter weather, even though we still have a few more months…keep this mask in mind!

MAC Prep and Prime


I’ve been using MAC’s Prep and Prime Translucent Finishing Powder for about a year, and I’m loving it!  You use this powder when setting your makeup..it reduces shininess and gives a nice overall finish to your look.  It basically just seals everything in so your makeup doesn’t crease, move, etc.
This product is perfect with anyone who has oilier skin…it seriously reduces shine which is why I’m so obsessed with it.  Another reason why I love it…it disappears and blends perfectly in with any skin tone and any amount of makeup.  You don’t have to worry about it leaving a white finish or spots…as long as you blend it it’ll be unnoticeable!  
 It has a super fine texture which allows it to blend easily and not be noticeable whether or not you have fine lines, large pores, etc.  Andddd, it’ll make your skin feel super silky.  However, I did read in some places that if you have dry skin this may not be the product for you since the purpose is to control shine, which therefore may dehydrate the skin slightly.
Added bonus…if you feel like going bare-faced you can just put on some moisturizer and then apply this over it.  It’ll give you a fresh and super natural look!
You can order this online, or buy it at any MAC store or department store location!

Keep That Tan

Summer is sadly winding down.  I’ve been MIA for the past couple of days because I moved into my new dorm, and today classes started. Ew.  Anyway, laying out at the beach is no longer an option until June 2012.  Here are the best options for keeping a sun-free year round tan!
I love love love Jergens Natural Glow moisturizer.  I bought this years ago when it came out, and it’s always been consistent in results.  Jergens as an entire natural glow line with many different products, you can check it out here.  My favorite is Revitalizing Daily Moisturizer, I use the medium to tan…but if you’re on the pale side I suggest you start with the fair to medium so you don’t have any orangey-ness.
I use this every time I get out of the shower, it slowly builds the tan…but after a week you’ll notice a difference.  This is def one of the best self tanners, it won Allure’s Best of Beauty Award for 2010 and 2011.  It’s also been mentioned in and has won awards from Teen Vogue, Self, Seventeen, and Glamour magazines!
Another one of my favorites is Neutrogena MicroMist Airbrush Sunless Tan.  It’s not a lotion, it’s an actual spray so it may be a little more difficult if you’re not used to this.  I use the deep tint, but I honestly don’t use this product that much.  I get a spray tan regularly…so I usually just use this as a touch-up for that.
I really like the way it applies, it doesn’t streak or leave you orange.  You just need to be careful in how you spray…but there are websites that give great advice when you’re doing a self airbrush.  I also really like this product because it dries super quickly, you don’t need to worry about having to wait more than 5mins for it to be fully dried.
Once again, if you’re fair you haveeee to start out with the medium — going right to the dark formula won’t leave you very pretty.
You can find both of these products at any drug store…CVS, Walgreens, Duane Reade…they all have them!

Lush Mask of Magnaminty

I bought Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty while on the search for a mask that would help control oil production and improve the condition of my pores.  I finally settled on this mask, and not only because it’s by one of my favorite cosmetic brands.  I’ve read so many great reviews on Mask of Magnaminty that I knew I had to try it!

This mask is a little different than most others, when I put some on my hand in the store I noticed the consistency was chunky and thick…it’s not smooth at all (but in a good way).  It’s hard to apply with your fingers, so (like with all my other masks) I apply it with a foundation brush, just like the one pictured below, and literally paint it on my face.  
The main natural ingredients are peppermint oil, honey, and ground aduki beans.  This mask is an exfoliator, which you can feel as you apply it and as it sets on your skin.  It also clears pores by lifting dirt up off the surface of the skin (think blackheads).  The peppermint oil is cooling and tingling, but not in a uncomfortable way.  Lush recommends leaving the mask on for about 15mins, I usually leave it on for about 20 then wash it off with warm water.

When I bought the pot the woman told me it had about 20 masks in it, and there’s an expiration date which I like because it ensures the naturalness of the product and forces me to use it!  Right now I’m using it once a week because I use another mask during the week as well.  I’ve honestly noticed a difference in the texture of my skin, and I’m loving it!  And, another plus, it smells great because of the minty-ness so it’s very relaxing at night!

There are two sizes, a 4.4oz for $11.95 and the larger pot (which I bought) that’s 11.5oz and $22.95.  When you do the math, for the larger pot, that’s $1.15 per mask…way cheaper than getting a facial!!
PS: If you’re prone to acne on your back or chest area I’ve read this mask does wonders for those areas too!
PPS: If you have a small breakout and want quick relief, you can use this as a spot treatment and not all over your face!

Relaxxxxxxx

The past couple of days have been rainy and dreary….with even a slight chill in the air.  Yuck.  I take this time to do everything in the house I should have done months ago, and then just hang around and read.  BUT, my favorite thing to do on days like these is take a bath, I don’t normally have time to do this, but I try to make it a priority when the weather is bleh.
So, during times like these I loveee having my Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Bath Soaks.  Right now I have two: Eucalyptus Spearmint for stress relief and Lavender Vanilla for sleep.  The eucalyptus spearmint is def my favorite of the two, I just don’t think the lavender vanilla has as strong of a scent…but I still like it!
The scent in both of these salts lasts awhile, my entire bathroom smells great after I use them.  They’re made with essential oils and sea salt, I usually fill the cap and use that to measure it out, I use about 3-4 capfuls.
As you can see my bath soaks are designed a little bit differently…they must have just redone the label design because I only got these a month ago.  I’m a huge lover of aromatherapy, so if you need to relax and unwind, I stronglyyyy suggest these bath salts!

Sephora Haul!!

I had two Sephora gift cards from my birthday, so I decided to go and get some stuff I’ve wanted, but didn’t wanna spend money on.  Surprisingly, the gift cards covered more than half of the purchase! YAY.
Also, yay for free stuff.  I got my birthday gift from Sephora since I hadn’t been in there in and hadn’t gotten it yet….AND…the 500 point perk for the Beauty Insider’s which just so happened to have some of my favorites in it, so it made sense I chose it.
The 500 point perk for this month was by benefit, it was some samples of my favorites that I already have, but I figured it was good to get so that I could hold off a little longer from resupplying.  The first product is BADgal Lash, which is one of my favorite mascaras, although I don’t get it often because it can be expensive just for mascara (and my absolute favorite is Falsies by Maybelline). 
 The next product is “that gal” face primer.  I keep meaning to do a post on primers, I’ll get to that soon but this is def a good one.  I’ve only used it a couple of times, but now that I have a sample I’ll use it for the next week to see how I really like it.  Last is my favorite powder highlighter, dandelion.  I love this light pink color, it looks great on my cheeks when I’m doing a completely natural look and only want a touch of shimmer, without the dewy-ness.  
Next I have the happy birthday beautiful vanilla birthday cake shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath by one of my favorite brands philosophy.  If you’re a Sephora Beauty Insider you get this for your birthday.  If you’re not familiar with the Beauty Insider program, it’s a free program that allows you to get free stuff, incentives, and more.  You get a point for every dollar spent, and then they have special days where it’s double points, etc.  When you reach 100 points you get a sample of a great product (they change every month and you have a choice from about three) OR you can do what I did, and save your points for the 500 point perk, which this month was by benefit (but it also changes every month).  It’s a great program and you get invited to special events, and when you become a V.I.B. member (like me!) you get even more offers, invites, etc.  I def suggest everyone sign up to be a member!
Sephora has been teamed up with Hello Kitty since the beginning of the year, and they just released the Hello Kitty Graffiti collection. (Disclaimer: I’m a Hello Kitty addict, always have been since I was little and I always will be for the rest of my life.)  Needless to say I died when I saw this, I watched the launch event in L.A. on Sephora’s Facebook page…and died even more.  When I saw the makeup bag I knew I had to have it ASAP, and I got the last one at my Sephora store. The colors are just so perfect and amazing, and I think the whole theme of Hello Kitty and graffiti is perfection
 I also really like the Graffiti Eyeshadow and Blush Palette for this collection, the colors aren’t what I expected with a graffiti theme, but I love them anyway because they’re super functional.  As you can see the palette is two tiered, the colors all complement each other really well and I’m excited to try it out!  Aside from the actual makeup aspect, the packaging is fabulous.
LASTLY, I love the Sephora by OPI nail poish line, Santa has been giving me some amazing colors from this collaboration the past couple of years.  I have a new appreciation for nail polish, usually I use whatever is at the nail salon but now I enjoy looking up different collections and having my own.  I loved both the Safari Luxe and The Garden of Good & Evil collections by Sephora by OPI, but I knew I couldn’t get all of the colors from each…UNTIL I saw these mini sets!  I think these are fabulous because I always switch up the colors I use so I know I won’t run out of these little ones super quick.  The Garden of Good & Evil is perfect for the fall, and I’m gonna go to get my nails done today and use something from the Safari Luxe collection.   The name of each polish is in the captions!
Don’t Feed the Hand Models — Caught With My Khakis Down — Yes, Your Lioness — I Don’t Bite
Completely Fern-ished — Eve-y On The Eyes — Tempted by Teal — Frankly, I Don’t Give A-dam

Lush Ocean Salt

Ocean Salt Face and Body Scrub is Lush’s #1 seller for a reason…a really, really, really good reason.
In addition to my favorite Lush product, Coalface (past review linked) I’m equally addicted to Lush’s Ocean Salt exfoliate.  This is a body/face exfoliate, although I only use it for my face because I prefer some other amazing body exfoliates (past review linked).  I first bought this while I was at school in D.C., the girl helping me in the Lush store was kinda bored and just wanted to try products on me.  When she suggested this one I was slightly skeptical because I’ve always looked at salt based products as super drying…but this is perfect and is designed for normal to oily skin.
I loved the texture and consistency of this product, and decided to try the small pot (120g).  The area of my hand that she tested it on was super smooth, and when followed up with lotion was amazingly soft.  So, I figured that if the back of my hand felt like heaven, my face probably would too.  
You don’t need to use a lot of this product for it to have an effect, the picture below is about the amount of product I use per use for when I’m only exfoliating my face.  When I’m doing neck and face I’ll use a tad bit more. 
When you first buy this the mixture isn’t set…when you open it up it’ll look like the photo below.  They give you a little mixer and the first time you use it just stir it up a couple of times and you’re good to go!  It might look a little scary when you first open it, because it just looks like a pile of salt…but it’s okay no worries.
Before stirring the mixture.
After, ready to go.
Ocean Salt smells so yummy, it’s kinda zingy.…which makes sense given it’s super cool ingredients.  The mixture is composed of lime, coconut, avocado, grapefruit, and sea salt…it’s vodka based which basically just proves how much of an astringent/antibacterial it is…meaning more benefits for your skin!
I use this product twice a week, you shouldn’t use it more than that because it could potentially dry you out.  I can promise you that Ocean Salt will deliver results, I found that the longer I spend massaging it into my face the better the results are.  I have mildly sensitive skin, and because it is a serious exfoliate it sometimes leaves me red, but it’s only for about 5mins after and then my skin looks great and glowly!  
I’ve moved on to the larger (250g) pot, and gave the rest of my smaller pot to my mom to use.  My aunt recently tried it out too and loved it.  This product can be expensive if you use it all over your body, which is why I only use it for my face.  The smaller pot is $19.95 and the larger pot is $34.95.  One of my favorite aspects of all Lush stores is they will give you an ample sample (lol) of anything you want, go to a Lush store (or if there aren’t any around you they have their own stores within most Macy’s) and ask for both a sample to take home and a test right there in the store!      
Seriously, go try this out right nowwww!!!

XO.
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The Body Shop Body Butter

I was in the Body Shop about a month ago and picked up their Body Butter which I’ve been wanting to try for awhile.  I was instantly hooked.  I chose the Pink Grapefruit body butter, I had a birthday coupon so I thought it was a perfect time to try out something new!
Bodyshop.com
I knew the Body Shop was known for their body butters, most recently the Body Butter Duo, one side is regular body butter while the other side is formulated specifically for dry skin.  I’ll buy that the next time around to try out.
Anyway, the smell of the pink grapefruit is lovely for summer, and in the morning after I shower really wakes me up.  It’s super refreshing and natural.  Some people don’t like using a body butter in the summer, but I enjoy using it all year…I love the results it gives, my skin is always super soft and healthy looking.
The main ingredients are shea butter, cocoa butter, and glycerin.  When applying this moisturizer you can literally feel it melt into your skin, which proves just how much of these great ingredients it’s really made of.
There are so many different types of body butters, and they all serve different purposes depending on your skin type.  I have normal skin, which is why I can use this product all year round…and the pink grapefruit is in this category.  There are a bajillion different types, so click here to see which would be best for you!
PS: I’ve recently become obsessed with abuncha Body Shop products, and I’ll be doing a lot of reviews since I’ve been using them long enough now to have solid opinions. I love how the Body Shop supports community trade by getting ingredients from poorer countries to help villages generate income.  They also do not test on animals, and currently have a campaign running to raise awareness of human trafficking.
Watch this video to learn more about the Body Shop’s Community Trade efforts!

Burt’s Bees Lip Balm

I just wanted to put up a quick post about my favorite lip balm.  I ran out of it today, and it made me think about how many of these I go through…I think I’m addicted. 
This stuff is amazing.  I wrote about it in my beach bag post, but I would just like to reiterate how fabulous I think this lip balm is.  I’ve used all types of lip balms/ chapsticks…Blistex, Rosebud Salve (which I still love), Softlips, and Carmex.  But, for some reason I love the texture of the Burt’s Bees the best.  I also like that I can feel the pomegrante oil, and I really think that has helped keep my lips protected in both the winter from the harsh cold, and the summer from the strong sun.  Lastly, this lip balm uses all natural ingredients which I prefer and has an SPF of 20.
Which remindssss meeeee, it’s SO important to make sure your chapstick or lip balm (whatever, they’re the same thing) has SPF in it.  Usually making sure your lips are protected from the sun is the last thought someone has while at the beach ready to get their tan on.  Howeverrrrr, your lips don’t tan, duh, so they must be protected from the harsh rays.  So, make sure you have a lip balm wth SPF 15 or higher, I’d always opt for the higher.  
PS: Sorry I haven’t updated in a few days, life has been super hectic the past week!