NOTD: Zebra Print

For today's NOTD, I was inspired by another blogger, Gloss and Glitz.  I knew as soon as I saw her nails I had to try it out myself.  I love pairing animal prints with a pop of color, like Janna did.

For the zebra I used Wet n Wild in French White Crème and Black Crème. I used a small brush and zebra print nail images for the pattern. The red is Sally Hansen in Red Carpet.  I am no nail art aficionado, those two nails took me 3 tries!


Mascara Monday: bareMinerals Flawless Definition Volumizing


"This 100% pure bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara accentuates and separates each lash for a flawless and well-defined finishing touch to your eyes. The seriously tapered wand lengthens, darkens, and lifts for all-around beautiful lashes. Infused with 100% pure bareMinerals, antioxidants, and natural extracts, the smudge-free, paraben-free mascara conditions, fortifies, and protects lashes all day long. The sleek and savvy wand works like a 360-degree fine-toothed comb for outstanding definition, length, and lift."-from the Sephora website

When I'm shopping for a mascara, I look for something that builds my sparse lashes and provides some length. This mascara has the exact building and lengthening powers that I require in a mascara.

Flawless Definition includes a large bristle brush that builds volume. Unfortunately, it's difficult to use on lower lashes. My results consistently lasted throughout the day. I found Flawless Definition to be quite similar to a drugstore find. I will report on this dupe in a later post! While I enjoyed the results from this mascara, I will not be repurchasing {only because of the cheaper dupe}. 


Guest Blogger: Angie of YourBFF


My guest blogger this month is the lovely Angie of YourBeautyFashionFitness. If you couldn't guess from her blog title, Angie's blog focuses on some of her favorite things beauty, fashion and fitness. I can absolutely relate, because these are all things I love to write about, too. I discovered Angie around the time my blog began and she has proven to be a great blogging friend! I look forward to further collaborations! 

In today's post, Angie focuses on finding the perfect nude lipstick. Take it away, Angie!

Quest for the Perfect Nude

There is something about going nude on the lip that can feel so natural and sexy, but finding that perfect nude lip can be a search that is not an easy experience.  In the quest for my perfect nude lip, my collection has grown to a rather wide range of nudes, so I wanted to gather all of them here for you today to share with you my thoughts.

In general when you first think of the term "nude lip" your mind may immediately gravitate toward only those pasty nearly-dead lips, but I found once I decided to broaden my nude terminology a bit, that is when I found my perfect nude.  When you first start looking, stop and think a minute about what natural tones in general compliment you: pinks, tans, peachy tones or browns.  Next try to think of the term "nude" in a broader sense.  Your perfect nude lip doesn't have to be pale or pasty looking.  Allow yourself to squeeze in the term "natural" when you are thinking of a nude lip (because we all know going nude is natural, right?! ;) )  I consider the shades that look natural on me to be my nudes. While I still enjoy to pale out my lips from time to time, I have found other nude shades that I find to be more comfortable to wear on a daily basis that are my nudes!

The Quest.  The search for my perfect nude lip has been quite a long one, so I wanted to share with you my nude collection so you can get an idea of what I've been through to get to a place where I have found my favorites.  Your journey may be different, but I hope sharing some of these swatches with you will help you on your exciting nude lip adventure!  Viewer discretion: there is a whole lot of nude going on here...prepare yourself!  First, let's take a look at my naturally "nude" lips:  

My natural lip color.
My Current Nudy Picks.  Here are some of my current favorite nude shades I find myself reaching for quite often.  Again, once I broadened the term "nude" to include what looks "natural" on me, as well as finding the tone that looks best with my skin tone, I found I could wear a nude lip often.  I have found I like nude tones that are warmer, with more of a peachy tone to them, as well as those slightly leaning toward a warmer pink.  Those that are cooler toned do not look as good on me.  Once I discovered this, and broadened my thoughts of going nude, I found I could go nude much more often, and not just with a dark smokey eye one night on the weekend when I go out!  (Come on girls, you all know how fun it is to get nude several times a week -- even during the week, right!?) ;) 

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter, Creme Brulee

Revlon Lipstick, Soft Nude

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain, Charm

Revlon Kissable Balm Stain, Precious

L'Oreal Colour Caresse by Colour Riche, Sheer Linen

Studio Gear, Divine

Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick, Spotlight Beige

The Remaining Nudes... Here are the rest of the naturally nude lipsticks I have in my collection. I do reach for these from time to time, while others I do not feel work the best for my skintone.  I did want to include them in case they might be what you are looking for.

L to R: 
L'Oreal Endless In the Buff (this may be discontinued, but it has a slight peach/tan tone to it and does not have sheen);
L'Oreal Colour Riche Fairest Nude 
(this has some slight pink tones to it), Nature's Blush (I find this shade too dark to wear as a nude, so if you have darker skin this may work well), Tafetta (this borders on a pink shade, but does have that natural look when worn on the lips) & Dune (this is a very pale shade on me, with more tan tones to it, and it does have shimmer to it.)

 Maybelline, Born With It (this is more of a pinky nude with no shimmer, just a nice sheen) &
Nearly There
 (this has a warm pink tone to it, but has a bit of shimmer with tiny bits of glitter in it)

Rimmel Lasting Finish, Airy Fairy (satin finish, cooler pink/mauve toned on me)
Rimmel Moisture Renew in Dreamy (peachy sheen/shimmer), Sunset (same tones as Spotlight Beige, but with sheen/shimmer) & Summer Angel (pale sheen/shimmer)
So while the examples I've shown above are my current nudy lip picks, these may not be your nudy picks, so I encourage you, if you have not embarked on your nude lip adventure yet because you have been intimidated by all of the choices and formulas out there, I want to encourage you by saying there is a nude out there that looks natural, flattering and will most assuredly not make you look the walking dead - so do not give up!  While I do not consider my quest for the perfect nude lip over yet because there are still many more formulas and shades to experiment with (and I love a good nude experiment!), I am more comfortable knowing what I am looking for.  This makes my nude journey much more fun, and less serious, which after all, is au naturel!

Wearing my current nudy favorite: Studio Gear Divine. I love the peachy tone of this lipstick, as well as the formula & feeling on my lips. So far this one is nude perfection to me!
Thank you so much Arielle, for allowing me to guest blog for you today.  I love reading your blog Arielle, & keeping up with you on Twitter!  I'm so happy to have met you through blogging.  Thank you again!  Thank you also to all of Arielle's readers & followers for reading my post today. I hope I can get to know more of you very soon and would love for you to stop by and say hello, so I can visit your blog as well!  :)  
♥ Angie YourBFF: YourBeautyFashionFitness
I purchased all products mentioned in this post.

Thank you for this fantastic guest post, Angie!


Mascara Monday: Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara


"Film Noir's signature hourglass-shaped brush is designed for optimal application, adding volume, length, lift, and separation to lashes. The intense concentration of Panthenol (ProVitamin B5) adds a reflective, jet-black sheen for dramatic impact."-from the Sephora website

Hourglass Film Noir includes an hourglass shaped bristle brush. The formulation is velvety and easy to apply on upper and lower lashes. Results last the entire day.

While the mascara has some lengthening power, I did not find the results to be dramatic. I also found little added volume. Considering the lackluster results and $28 price, I would not purchase this mascara in the future.


Birchbox: Month 8

WEI Golden Root purifying mud mask, value $5.25
WEI Pomegranate Buffing Beads, value $2
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream, value $1.44
Schick Hydro Silk (free item)
stila stay all day, value .62
Juicy Couture Viva la Juicy, value $1.40
Caldrea Hand Soap, value unable to determine, no weight listed on sample, estimate <.50 

Total Value: ~$11.21

We're into my 8th Birchbox. When my boxes first began, a friend told me the longer you subscribe the better the boxes get. Unfortunately, I'm not finding this to be true. I opened this box and was immediately disappointed.

The first product I noticed was the Schick razor. Everyone loves a free razor, c'mon they aren't cheap! However, Birchbox subscribers sign up for high end beauty products, not drugstore finds. I was not impressed by this addition to my box. I have a feeling they included the razor to up the value of the box. I would have preferred to see a high end shaving product, instead. The Stila products are unusable because they sent me a color that is several shades too dark for me. I also laughed about the hand soap. I mean, seriously, who's dying to try the latest hand soap?

Had this subscrption not been a gift, I would have cancelled after this box. The fact that the value is close to the purchase price is disappointing, besides the products being a let down.


Mascara Monday: Josie Maran GOGO Instant Natural Volume


Josie Maran is one of those brands I had yet to be introduced to until this mascara was included in the Sephora Lashtash Favorites box. From a little research, Josie Maran products include organic ingredients and advertise "luxury with a conscience."

The GOGO Instant Natural Volume Mascara includes a wide bristle brush that applies the product smoothly. There's no clumping or flaking and the brush is soft. The brush is fantastic at pulling lashes apart and up.

I found this formulation to be more lengthening on my lashes than volumizing. Beyond that, the results were not what I seek in a mascara.  I believe this mascara would be well suited for someone who wants a slight enhancement and natural look to their lashes.