5.31.2013

Nurit's Naturals Skincare Review

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When Nurit, of Nurit's Naturals, contacted me about testing her line of cleanser, toner and serum I was looking forward to it. Nurit began the line with her husband, Dr. Praeger, in an effort to provide minimal and pure skincare. Prior to using, I had been going through a skin nightmare. I was hoping I would react well to the natural ingredients. 

Nurit's Naturals Moisturizing Cleanser
What it claims: A non-drying or striping cleanser that removes makeup and dirt.

My experience: This cleanser removed a majority of my makeup but not all of it. I could feel an oily residue on my skin. I believe this was from the ingredients in the product.

Nurit's Naturals Pore-Minimizing Toner
What it claims: A hydrating toner that balances and refreshes skin.

My experience: This toner removed the oily feeling the cleanser left behind. It removed the rest of my makeup. I did not notice any changes in my pores. My skin tightened as it dried. It has a nice citrus scent.

Nurit's Naturals Deep Penetrating Serum
What it claims: Penetrates to provide smooth, hydrated skin.

My experience: I only use this at night because it takes quite a while for it to absorb. When I wake up, my skin feels soft, smooth and looks refreshed. 

Overall, I am happy with the way my skin performed with this line. It calmed down from a nasty acne and redness flare up. My skin has been very well moisturized. For a full coverage makeup gal, like myself, I wasn't completely pleased with the removal. However, I do like the ingredients and what it did for my skin. I think if you experience dry skin, this line will provide all of the hydration you need. For someone who leans oily, I don't think you will love the experience. If you have sensitivities, I also believe your skin will love this line. My skin often misbehaves with new products but with Nurit's Naturals everything went beautifully! 
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5.30.2013

Make Up For Ever Aqua Summer Launch plus Swatches

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I was very excited when I was contacted by Make Up For Ever about their new Aqua Summer launch. The line includes new lip and eye products that are smudge-proof.

I have been testing out the new Aqua Cream in Pearly Pastel Green, Aqua Rouge in Pomegranate Pink and Baby Pink, Aqua Lip in Baby Pink and Aqua Eyes in Matte Brown.


Aqua Cream ($23) is a cream eye shadow that is crease free and smudge proof. Aqua Rouge ($24) is a highly pigmented, multi-hour wear lip color with a dual ended lipgloss. Aqua Lip ($19) is a lip pencil that compliments Aqua Rouge. Aqua Eyes ($19) is a smudge proof pencil eyeliner. 

You will be able to pick up the Aqua Summer line at Sephora this month.

In my short amount of testing I can already say Aqua Rouge is going to be a new holy grail lip product in my collection! It lasted all day without budging. Full reviews are coming soon!

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5.29.2013

How to Make Your Lip Color Last for Hours

Ever hate applying your lipstick over and over? Me too! Here are the simple steps to make it last for hours:



How do you make your lip color last?
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5.28.2013

How to Get Free Samples from Mario Badescu

Lately, I have been going through a skincare transition. I have stopped using my acne prescription in an effort to find the routine that naturally repairs my skin. 
Through my research, I stumbled upon Mario Badescu. Since I'm in this transition, I was not ready to shell out for full size products (especially since they recommend multiple items!!). I discovered Mario Badescu will send free samples of most of the products they recommend. How cool is that?
Here's how:
Go to the Mario Badescu website. Below the fold you will see a button that says "custom consultation." Click this.

This will take you to a page to fill out your name, address, etc. Be sure to fill this out correctly and include your email! 


The pages after will ask you some questions about your skin. 


You will then be taken to their product recommendation page. You don't have to do anything until you receive an e-mail that asks if you would like free samples of the products they recommended. I received my e-mail about 48 hours after I did the questionnaire. Two weeks later, I opened up my mailbox and found a package full of samples!


I am so happy I did it this way. I was able to try everything before making the decision to make the purchase or not. I have sampled each product and will be ready to share my reviews soon!

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5.23.2013

Review & Swatches: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

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I have been a fan of Revlon's Super Lustrous Lipstick for quite some time. I think they are simply packaged, have a vast color assortment and are beautifully pigmented. Plus, they never feather or bleed on me. Their downside? They only last 2-3 hours at most.

Revlon sent along some of their new shades in the Allure Beauty Blogger Awards. I was thrilled to try out Fuchsia Shock, since it's such a hot color right now. To my surprise, I was blown away by my love for Rich Girl Red.


These swatches were taken in direct sunlight. They have a nice bit of shine to them due to, what looks like to me, peach and gold shimmer.

Pink Cognito: I'm not sure why this is labeled pink. I find it to be in the nude-buff range with peach undertones. 

Kissable Pink: A classic rosy pink that will leave a light wash of color to the lips.

Fuchsia Shock: A bright pink. My mom said it reminded her of the shade my grandma used to wear. What can I say? My grandma was a trendsetter ;) 



Rich Girl Red: A brick shade with plenty of orange undertones. If you are one who feels a red lip is "clownish" on you this is definitely the toned down version. 


Pink Velvet: This is deepest shade of the collection. It has rose to mauve undertones.

Which shade is your favorite?
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5.22.2013

How to Make Lipstick Appear True to Color on Pigmented Lips


Pigmented lip ladies, like myself, have a hard time getting some lipsticks to appear true to color. This is because certain shades cannot neutralize or cover the pigment in our lips. 

My before photo is when I swiped on the lip color and I got what looks like just a but of shine but hardly any color. After the method below, the color is true to the stick color:


1. Apply your foundation all over your lips. This will neutralize you lip pigment.
2. Yes, you will look like the maniquin from the opening credits to Nip Tuck but you have to let that foundation dry!
3. Add your lip color. It should now appear the same as the tube color.

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5.21.2013

Top 5 Beauty Products Under $5


1. Pantene Fine Hair Solutions Volume, $3.49, drugstores: This is one of two shampoos that does not weigh down my fine locks and provides lift. There is no way I could live without it now! You can see results in my How to Volumize Fine Hair tutorial.

2. Wet 'n Wild MegaGlo Illuminating Powder in Catwalk Pink, $3.99, drugstores: This highlighter includes four glowing shades that, when swirled together, perfectly illuminate your features.

3. Wet 'n Wild MegaImpact mascara, $3.99 drugstores: If you're needing volume from your lashes, this mascara provides it. The wand is packed with bristles that coat the base of your lashes without clumping or flaking.

4. Earth Therapeutics Tea Tree Oil Foot Repair Balm, $2 Ulta: This travel sized foot cream is equipped with serious moisture. I constantly suffered from dry feet, until this. My skin soaked this up and I haven't seen a flake since.

5. NYC Smooth Skin Bronzing Powder in Sunny, $2.99 drugstores: This bronzer is a highly pigmented buff shade. It works well for fair-medium gals and is sans orange tones. I use it to contour.

Check out my top $1 beauty products

What are your favorite $5 or less products?
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5.20.2013

Review and Results: Clarisonic Mia

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What it claims:
  • Cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone in just 60 seconds
  • Works with skin, not against it, to gently massage away impurities trapped within pores
  • Prepares skin for better absorption of creams, serums and moisturizers
  • Gentle enough to use 2x a day -According to Clarisonic.com

Cost: The system will run you $119. Replacement heads are $25. Buy online here.

Packaging: Inside the box you get your Mia and a charger. The Mia handle fits into the palm of your hand. The brush head is about 1 inch wide.


Why I bought it: I suffer from blackheads and lots of them. I have tried, essentially, everything out there to no avail. The Clarisonic was my last ditch effort before accepting that I would live with blackheads forever. I chose the Mia solely because it was the least expensive of all of the systems. 

Review and results: Now that I have been using my Clarisonic for around 7 months I think it was absolutely worth the price (that's not to say I wish it were less!).  I'm extremely happy I made the purchase and it is now part of my must have list. 

Head 
The head that comes standard with the Mia is labeled sensitive. At first, I thought it was too harsh. However, within a few uses it softens up and feels light on the skin. I have replaced my head once since purchase because the bristles dull and fray out just like a toothbrush. 


Speed
The Mia only has one speed. The other systems have speed selection. I am absolutely fine with the programed speed.

Usage
Clarisonic recommends using the system for 20 seconds on your forehead and chin, then 10 seconds on each cheek. Since most of my blackheads are on my nose, I do 15 seconds on my forehead and chin, then 10 seconds on my nose and cheeks. You swirl the brush in small circular motions. I use my Clarisonic with a pump of face wash. 

As for being able to use this twice a day, for me there was no irritation. However, I still only go for once a day. It was too harsh for my husband's skin to use twice daily.

Charging
The Mia will last around 20 uses before it needs to recharge. It will buzz twice at the end of the cycle when it's needing a recharge. The charger is magnetized and sticks directly to the Clarisonic. Unfortunately, you have to charge for 18 hours to get maximum uses. I find this a bit annoying considering the Clarisonic is essentially charged for 20 minutes of use. This isn't something you can plug in and use in a pinch. I think this the one Clarisonic downfall. 

Cleaning
I clean my brush head at the same time as my makeup brushes and with the same cleanser. I use this method

Product absorption results
I have not noticed any difference in the absorption of my skincare products.

Dry skin results
This winter, I experienced less dry patches than usual. I think the Clairsonic is fantastic for exfoliation. My husband's main concern is dry skin and he uses this to keep the flakes at bay.

Blackheads and acne results
As I said before, I have struggled with blackheads with no reduction from any products. This is the first thing that has ever reduced them. I also noticed that any pimples or blackheads that do appear, pop much easier. I barely have to press to remove them. As for acne, I was using a prescription when I bought my Mia. Right now, I am going through a strange breakout period and stopped using the Rx. I think things would have been far worse had I not used the Clarisonic. I get around 1 cystic acne spot every other month. This used to be a monthly occurrence.

My skin's reaction

Day 1: The brush was a little bit uncomfortable and felt like a tootbrush. The bristles were still very stiff at this point. After use, I noticed there was far less makeup residue on my toner cotton ball than usual. My skin immediately felt smoother.

Day 4: The breakout period began. I have heard this typically happens. For me, this lasted around 3 days. They were very small whiteheads that were easy to pop. It wasn't a huge breakout but it was noticeable.

One week: I saw a small reduction in my blackheads. The bristles softened and became more comfortable.

One month: Dramatic difference in the amount of blackheads. They were not erradicated but there were WAY less than usual. At least a 50% reduction. My husband noticed a big difference in his blackheads, too.

Beyond: Results have stayed consistent in the past 7 months. 

Did you pick up a Clarisonic? What were your results?

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Affiliate links are in this post. If you click on an affiliate link and/or make a purchase I receive monetary compensation. For my full disclosure, click here.

5.17.2013

Review & Swatches: Real Purity Lipstick in Tangerine

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What the company says: Real Purity claims that these lipsticks are creamy and will make lips appear fuller. They also point out that these lipsticks can be consumed with no worries (who knew we consumed lipstick?!). The 28 shades retail for $15 on realpurity.com.

Formulation: This lipstick is quite creamy. It is comparable to a lip butter. According to the website, the ingredients are: Candellila Wax, Castor Oil, Organic Aloe Vera Extract, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Iron Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, Kaolin, Pycnogenol.

Pigmentation: On my pigmented lips, the color is fairly close to the shade in the tube. I noticed a bit of sheen to the lipstick. The website mentions that this shade has "frost." I would describe Real Purity Lipstick in Tangerine as orange with hints of coral.


Staying power: I noticed pigments were not as vibrant after 30 minutes. The color was completely gone after 2 hours. The color faded evenly.

Overall: I am pleased with this lipstick. I adore how emollient the formula is. In fact, I immediately noticed how much creamier these lipsticks are than anything I have ever tried. Throughout wear, my lips felt hydrated. I never experienced feathering, bleeding or a gritty feeling, either. I did not notice any lip plumping, though. 

I purposely chose this shade since orange is so hot right now. I think it compliments my skin tone well, too!


Since there are so many shades to choose from, I'm really curious about the others. I would love to get my hands on Wine, for the fun of it!

What lipstick have you found to be ultra creamy?

******
Today's featured sponsor is Crystal from Everything Beauty!


Crystal's blog has a plethora of beauty reviews and tips. I loved her post on tips for beautiful hair. Crystal has a serious passion for makeup. She told me she began blogging, "because I wanted to create an outlet for my love of cosmetics!" Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello!


Want to be a featured blogger? Click here for all the info.


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5.16.2013

Thrifter Thursday: Plato's Closet Haul + OOTD

Over the weekend, I went thrifting! I stopped by Goodwill and Plato's Closet. On this trip, I stumbled upon some goodies at Plato's. As usual, I tried on an arm full but only ended up buying half. I forced myself to purchase some prints. 



I'm curious about how PC prices. Why is Lauren Conrad (Kohl's) more than Banana Republic? I'm also wonder why the dresses were less than some of these tops.


Now for the OOTD! The Express dress was missing the belt, so I added this one from Wal-Mart. I also chose to bring out the pink with these wedges, also thrifted from Plato's Closet.



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5.14.2013

Review & Swatches: Real Purity Creme Blush in Cinnamon & Berry

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What the company says: Real Purity points out that this blush can be used to create a natural look. The website also mentions that it is easy to blend. You can buy them in three shades, Cinnamon, Berry and Pink, for $15 from realpurity.com.

Ingredients: I would not normally include this but since Real Purity prides themselves on using organic and natural ingredients, I thought I would share. According to their website, these blushes include: Cyclomethicon, Caprylic Triglyceride, Sunflower Oil, Candellila Wax, Jojoba Seed Oil, Wheat Starch, Tribehenin, Vanilla Extract, Bisabolol Pure Grape Seed Extract, Mica, Micronized Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Carmine Free of any FD&C dyes, oils, talc, alcohol, parabens, chemicals.

Formulation: This is a cream blush. In the packaging, it appears to be quite sturdy. Once its warmed with your finger, it softens. 

Pigmentation: I received the shades Cinnamon and Berry. Cinnamon has red undertones-almost a brick red. Berry is pink-it is the classic blush shade. Of the two, I prefer Berry. They are also completely matte.

As soon as I dipped my finger into the sample I was able to get a lot of pigment. There is a fine line between too much pigment and too little. I figured out the best application is to lightly dab several dots on my cheek, with my ring finger, then blend upwards. Work quickly, though, because once they set they are no longer blendable.

(these are the sample size)

Real Purity Creme blush is also buildable. If you need to tone down the color, you can wipe some off before it dries. I have used several drugstore creams (Dream Bouncy and Covergirl + Olay, mostly) and I thought the pigment in Real Purity's was slightly better. Where it won me over was the staying power. 


Staying power: Once the blush dries and sets, it stays throughout the day. I apply the color intense in the morning because, as the day wears on, it does, too. However, it fades evenly. Most creams are gone within a few hours on my combo skin. This one lasted throughout my work day. By the end of the day, I could still see some light pink on my cheeks. 

Overall: I really liked Real Purity's Creme Blush. It has great pigmentation, blendability and staying power. I don't think $15 is too steep but they could offer more shades. I read a review, on their website, where a woman reported she didn't have to replace it for 5 years! 

What is your favorite cream blush?
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5.13.2013

Review & Swatches: Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream


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What the company says: On the website, Revlon claims that their PhotoReady BB Cream, "hydrates like a moisturizer, smooths like a primer, covers like a foundation, blurs flaws like a concealer, protects with SPF 30 like a sunscreen." The bottle also says it's a "skin perfecter." It comes in three shades, light, light/medium and medium. It retails for around $10 at drugstores.

Formulation: Revlon's BB Cream includes SPF 30. When it comes out of the tube, it appears to be thick, but it is quite creamy. I did not notice any oxidation.

Coverage: This BB cream provides sheer-light coverage. I could see all blemishes and spots through it.  There are 3 shades. Light blends well on my fair skin. I gave the medium/light to a friend. It is smack dab in the middle, shade wise, of light and medium. Medium is quite deep with some brown undertones.


Staying Power: Coverage lasts throughout the day.

Overall: I do not agree with most of Revlon's claims on this BB cream. There is no way this could replace a foundation or concealer because the coverage it too light. On days where my skin was looking really good (and I mean nearly flawless) I could get away with it. Unfortunately, this BB cream always went oily on me after a few hours. I had my friend test it out and the same happened to her. She also broke out from it. The smell of the SPF is quite strong, in fact I could smell my face throughout the day. Lately, I have been using Revlon PhotoReady BB Cream as a primer in hopes to boost coverage to foundations. It works averagely for this purpose. It works poorly for the BB claims. 

Stayed tuned! On Wednesday, I'm posting a 4-in-1 BB review and my thoughts on BBs as a whole!

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