Bags, babies, beauty, and whatever else crosses my mind...

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 Beauty Purchases... My personal hits & misses

The end of the year is a time of reflection for a lot of people, so I got down to thinking about what 2011 was about for me and it all came down to... BEAUTY. (Well, you know - besides all that mushy, gushy stuff of family, new baby, loving my kids, etc. - it came down to beauty. Ha!) And by beauty, I mean that 2011 was the year of getting my beauty regimen in order.

I tried new products, found some favorites in hair care, skin care, perfumes, nail polish, and makeup - and also had a few misses along the way as well.

I can say that I'm coming out the other side of 2011 with a much better understanding of the types of beauty products that work best for me, some new favorite products, and a developed passion for all things in the "beauty" segment. The year started with a bang, with the Zoya "3 free" promotion and it got me to thinking... what if I took a different area of beauty and focused on it each month. Really honing in on the products and techniques that work best for me, and trying to find my signature pieces.

In the middle of the year, my sensitive skin on my face flared up (because of pregnancy hormones), so one month was focused on my skincare routine, another month I focused on finding great hair products that improved the look of my hair, other months were devoted to nails, eye makeup, lips, etc. I found that I started to gravitate towards the brands Mario Badescu, NARS, MAC, Alterna, and Make Up For Ever - just to name a few. And although it was tough to narrow it down... I came up with a list of beauty purchases that I made throughout the year, that were a definite "don't regret buying it - HIT" or "regret buying this - MISS"...

*~*~* 2011 Beauty Purchases Hits & Misses *~*~*

Top 5 Purchases that "I could have skipped buying this" - Total MISSES!

5) Bare Escentuals Flawless Definition Mascara - It was really hard for me to think of a fifth item that I could totally put in the "regret" category... so this one only gets an honorable mention. In my pursuit to find the perfect mascara (Diorshow won) I tried BE's Flawless Definition mascara - it wasn't horrible. Just nothing great. Nothing to write home about. I found it to to be a perfectly "adequate" mascara... meaning it didn't flake and drive me nuts, but it didn't really do anything for my lashes either. After the first few uses, even its magical lash separating powers didn't really seem to work quite as well, so it just became a regular mascara - with a really annoying applicator.

4) Sephora's Hello Kitty Perfume with atomizer - Sigh. I wanted to love it. I really did. The adorable bottle, the great smell, the fantastic atomizer (of which you can read about my obsession with HERE)... it was the total package. I ordered it online after we moved to our new house in an area that does NOT have a Sephora conveniently located near by, opened the box... only to find - the stupid atomizer didn't WORK! Not cool. 

I realize this isn't exactly "designer" perfume, but for the price - you expect at least working parts. I didn't want to go through the hassle of either driving to a store to return, or having to return by mail (it was right around the time I was due with the new baby)... so the adorable bottle sits on my dresser and when I want to wear it, I unscrew the bottle top and put it on. Lame.

3) Maybelline Falsies Mascara - This mascara gets hype that it works great, even from people that have tried higher grade mascaras... so I fell for it and decided to give it a try, even though I KNOW that drugstore brands mascaras just don't work for me. (I wear contacts and have really sensitive eyes... I can't have any sort of flakage with a mascara, otherwise it just kills just my eyes & contacts.) This was clumpy, thick, and flakey for me... Nothing positive to say about this one. Well... I guess other than at least it wasn't more than $6 or $7...

2) MAC Evolution Revolution lip glass - The color doesn't really do anything for me and I found the colors Prrr, Cultured, and Nymphette after buying this - that are much more suited to my skin tone and lifestyle. ER stays in my makeup drawers, but I could have probably taken a pass here...

MAC lipstick in Blankety & MAC lip glass in Evolution Revolution

1) Urban Decay's 15th Anniversary Eyeshadow Palette - I wanted to love it... I really, really did. This one fell flat on me or just couldn't live up to the hype that the Naked palette fulfilled. The colors were long-lasting, but I found them to be totally unwearable. I'm much more of a neutral gal for every day makeup and don't ever particularly have a need for makeup that is "out of the ordinary"... this was the biggest purchase regret of 2011.

Top 5 Purchases that "I Love!" - Were total HITS! 

5) Marc Jacobs Oh, Lola perfume - I ended up buying the largest size of this when my Sephora was out of all other sizes except the large size during a beauty event, even though I typically always get the medium sized perfumes. I was skeptical I could use it all at first, but now I'm so glad I ended up with the larger size! It's a beautiful scent that works for everyday as a stay at home mom, or is nice enough for a night out with hubby. Plus the bottle isn't too shabby to look at either.

4) MAC Fix+ - Took a gamble on trying this product and I'm glad that I did... I find that it does work to help "set" my makeup and gives me a soft finished look. I don't use it everyday, but I do feel like it gives me a little boost on the days that I do use it.

3) NARS Douceur Blush - A beautiful brown with pink undertone blush that looks great against my fair skin. This is my every day blush right now. 

NARS Douceur blush is pictured in the bottom right corner, with some of my other favorite beauty items.

2) NARS Crusing Lipstick - Another hit from NARS... This IS the perfect nude lipstick on me. Practically the same color as my natural lips, works with almost any makeup color scheme... This one is going into permanent rotation!
MAC Blankety on left, NARS Cruising on right

1) Urban Decay's Naked Palette - This is my go to eye shadow palette that I use practically every day! This was such a great investment for me and I'm actually one year later getting ready to purchase my second replacement one. I started off the year trying out this palette, and it quickly became a favorite. Wearable colors, travel friendly, and long-lasting formula... what's not to love?!?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas present... Tiffany & Co Paloma Picasso Marrakesh pendant necklace

Hubby did good! He picked it out all by himself!

I had a little blue bag waiting under the tree for me (I admit, he sent me down to the store to get it... so I knew what I was getting - that doesn't take away from the excitement of blue bags though, ha) and will be more than happy if a little turquoise blue becomes a Christmas tradition. (Last year's gift was a three row heart ring.)

This year, hubby looked at the Tiffany & Co website all by himself and picked out his top choices. I have to admit, his number one pick was something that never would have caught my eye if I were picking out something for myself - but I love it! When I tried it on at the store, I knew it was perfect and that it was going home with me to be my Christmas present.

Sterling silver Paloma Picasso Marrakesh pendant necklace:

To be followed up in the next week or so with some additional blue box Christmas gifts that aren't here yet - can't wait to share!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas 'n' stuff

Well it's that time of year again. And I've been hopelessly neglecting my blog lately, but I'm hoping to get back into the grove of things as the new year rolls around. We are slowly getting into a routine around here and even with the lack of sleep, we are at a decent level of functioning and dare I even say it... I'm becoming proficient at getting two kids ready and out of the house.

I've done fair bits of shopping lately, but of course most of it was for other people since I'm spreading holiday cheer and all of that. (I keep offering to send my screaming 3 week old over to people's houses for a few hours to spread holiday cheer, but for some reason no one seems to want to take me up on that. Hmmm...) I am finding fun new things in "Mommy world" that make being a mommy of two more manageable - and perhaps maybe even a fun item or two for myself! Assuming I can get by a computer for 20 or so minutes in the future, reviews will be forthcoming!

I was joking about the diaper bag in my post below, but good grief - who ever knew that it was TRUE?!? The same diaper bag you used with just one child in diapers definitely does NOT, I repeat NOT, work when you have two in diapers! (Plus, bottles, sippies, extra pants, etc etc etc) So I've been on the hunt for diaper bag solutions and have come up with a few different ideas...

We had been using the JJ Cole Mode diaper bag, which was a nice little bag for just one child - hooked onto the stroller nicely, and was easy to carry. It just wasn't functioning for a full days outing with both kids (although I probably will still be able to use it if I'm dropping one or both kids off at child care for a few hours... so its going to become our "child care" diaper bag.) Since I had Natalie, I had been bringing two bags out with us every where we go... one for each girl. This was just not cutting it. Especially when I was by myself trying to haul two bags around.

So my first solution was to get one bigger diaper bag, that I could use for both girls at one time.

I ended up with the Coach Op Art Diaper Bag in Dark Merlot, which is a bit bigger size - but also importantly, it is wider than it is tall, so that things don't just fall to the bottom (like our Mode Diaper bag, which was taller than wide) and hopefully will be easier to find. The color is gorgeous too, a rich purple with red undertones that I am hoping will go with about everything. This bag just arrived, so I will do a proper review after I've had a chance to use it.

My other interim solution was to get one of these JJ Cole Diaper Pods for easy quick changes on the go. (And I have a feeling I might end up with two of them, one for each girl.) My plan is to keep these in the car/stroller and they will be my grab & go item for when I just need to run into the bathroom to change one of the girl's diapers while someone stays with the other girl. This way I won't have to root around in the diaper bag to find that girl's specific items, especially if the diaper bag is in the bottom of the stroller being trapped in by the lower seat.

So all in all, we are figuring how it works with two, slowly but surely.

And just because it is only 10 days until Christmas... I feel compelled to share pics of our Christmas tree.

We just bought a new camera too (a Nikon 3100, love! will do a review on this as well in the future) - so I'm hoping to be able to share better pictures of the girls as time goes on...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Time to start shopping for a new diaper bag!

... Because I officially need a diaper bag for two children! :)

Natalie Elizabeth arrived at 6:26pm on Friday November 18th, and we are both doing great! Although I don't know that it will be her "permanent" nickname, an appropriate name for her right now is Peanut - because she was a tiny thing (relatively, compared to her 8lb, 6oz & 21 inch older sister) at 6lbs, 11oz & 19 inches!

We're hoping to be home later today. I opted to stay the extra day to not have to rush through the tons of appointments that you have to do before you can leave all in one day - but of course the downside to that is that I was up early today since I'm feeling good, am now sitting here in full makeup & hair done, and will spend the rest of my day just sitting around waiting for people to pop in... wondering when we will be able to leave!

(Tip that I learned this morning: You know you're in good enough health to leave the hospital, when you take your hair straightener into the bathroom to plug it in... only to realize, duh. There are no plug-ins in this bathroom because you're in a hospital - and if you're feeling well enough to primp, it's probably time to go home.)

For the mommy blogging crowd out there (but keeping it G-rated for those more interested in beauty & handbags than mommyhood, ha ha!) - delivery went exceptionally well, in my opinion. Instead of having to be induced as planned for Friday morning at 9am, I ended up starting to have contractions on Thursday night and started going into labor on my own! (Which after my previous induction, is more exciting than it sounds.) I, of course, am a wuss and not a huge fan of being in pain - so I opted for the epidural mid-day on Thursday and by dinner time she was ready to arrive! She came really quickly after I was ready to push and either due to her small size/sheer luck/or just knowing what I was doing this time around - I was surprised at how great I felt afterwards. Even with minimal sleep for two days, I felt energized and way more perky than last time around!

So now the real adventure begins... mommyhood times two. Reality will set in once I get home, Cupcake will realize that cute little "squawk-y cat" that she visited yesterday isn't going anywhere... and that will be our new norm. Toys will be nabbed, fights will ensue, temper tantrums will be thrown - but all in all, I'm thinking it could be fun. I will be sure to keep you posted. ;)

Auntie Deb showing Cupcake her new sister

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cupcake has grown by Leaps & Bounds

The past few months have brought moving... Halloween... and Cupcake, most definitely, turning into a toddler. She's grown before my eyes, and I've been amazed how you can reflect on some weeks to realize that she's gained so many new skills or words in only 7 days time. 

September 2011 - Playing at the Chrysler Museum
(She's totally getting one of these toddler tables for Christmas! Shhh...)

September 2011 - One of the first pictures taken at our new house.

October 2011 - Visiting the pumpkin patch.

October 2011 - Wearing some Halloween gear to start getting in the spirit!

October 31, 2011 - Our little monkey was a monkey for Halloween... and her favorite little stuffed animal, Monkey, dressed up as HER for Halloween! (Did you get all of that?)

October 31, 2011 - Cupcake as a monkey with Mommy

November 2011 - Showing off one of her new toddler skills that is essential for every girl, talking on the phone. ;)

I will admit, I'm looking forward to her becoming even MORE verbal - because we're in that kind of awkward stage that brings on a lot of temper tantrums, where she can't quite communicate what she's feeling or wanting... so a meltdown ensues. That gets frustrating at times for Mommy, but I'm just glad to know that it should hopefully only be a short while longer before she gains a more useful vocabulary to (hopefully?) cut down on some of the meltdowns.

For now though, I'm enjoying the new words that she's learning every day... and hearing the occasional, "Cowwww... Mooooo...." coming from the back seat. :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beauty: Things I'm loving right now!

Well, while I've been away moving and stuff - my focus has stayed on beauty items as my main source of enjoyment while shopping. I think I get fixated on beauty items when I'm pregnant because it helps me to retain some sense of self - having the time to put on my makeup and do my hair every day - as well as just generally helping you feel like a human being again on those days when you feel like your body has been taken over by someone else! (Oh yeah, it has.)

I've been really into pinks & neutrals, and have kept my makeup palette fairly tame these past few months. This has actually allowed me to try some new products that I believe will become mainstays in my makeup collection!

Here are some products that I'm loving right now:

Philosophy 3 in 1 in Pink Layered Cake; MAC  Lip glasses in Cultured,  Nymphette, & Prrr;  Diorshow  Waterproof Mascara; MAC Blankety lip stick; NARS Cruising lip stick, Urban Decay shadow in Sin; and NARS blush in Douceur

I'd been using Too Faced lipstick in Free Love forever, so I decided it was time to branch out and find some other neutral lip colors that worked well... I tried MAC Blankety and NARS Cruising - these two lipsticks are absolutely going into my permanent rotation! I love them! Especially NARS Cruising, it is the perfect pink nude lip color and matches my natural lips perfectly.

MAC Blankety lip stick & NARS Crusing lip stick

Keeping with my pink & neutral theme... I also tried a few new MAC Lip Glass colors - Cultured, Nymphette, and Prrrr. They all look fantastic on and are forgiving colors that you can just swipe on in the car on-the-go if needed. (Which is important in my life!) I've been wearing Cultured layered over the NARS Cruising lipstick, and Prrr was actually a color that I hadn't anticipated purchasing until I was in the store looking at colors - but when paired with Blankety lipstick, it gives a beautiful nude lip.

NARS Douceur blush is also a hit for me, the perfect neutral cheek look for Fall & Winter. It is subtle when on and you can build it up for a bigger effect. The color is a pink-ish neutral brown tone and I wear it with Too Faced's leopard bronzer underneath to add a bit of punch.

NARS Orgasm Blush compared to NARS Douceur Blush
Here's a horrible swatch on my arm of NARS Orgasm blush compared to NARS Douceur. I have a hard time getting swatches to show up on my arm...

So I haven't forgotten to take a bit of time to focus on myself while all of this move stuff has been going on. I'm looking forward to getting back into a predictable life routine though, and that includes not having to carry all of my makeup around in travel makeup bags!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Whew! So it's been over a month since we embarked on our move and I've been able to update the blog... apparently I'm only capable of focusing on one thing at a time! I've obviously got a lot of catching up to do... and I've also found some great products over the past month that I want to share with ya'll - but for now... the my thoughts on the highlights!

- We moved from Michigan to Illinois and are still in the process of getting settled in at the new house. I was able to at least get the girls' rooms to a minimal level of "done" and have a few pictures to share at the end of this blog post of my start on them!

- Adjusting to a new area has been a lot harder with this move than I ever anticipated. Moving with children is a totally different ball game than our previous between states move that we did before we had kids... You get so into a routine as a Stay-at-Home Mom and develop such a support system (no matter how big or small) - that it really is a shock to the system when you not only have to deal with a cranky kiddo in the middle of Target, but then also have to use up energy trying to figure out where the darned Ziploc bags are placed in the store too!

- Baby Bean (still no permanent nickname! still a girl!) is still cooking and seems to be doing well. We did have a slight scare after we moved over here when my new doctor ordered a growth ultrasound (since all of my previous ones had been done in Michigan) and the results came back that they thought the baby wasn't growing enough/too small. (10th percentile) Thus started a whirlwind schedule of twice weekly appointments to the regular doctor's office, additional appointments with the maternal fetal medicine doctor, and the like... Currently, the conclusion is that they are thinking that Baby Bean is just meant to be a smaller child - but are keeping a close eye on me none the less.

- I'm currently 38 weeks, so we're in the home stretch!

- We still love hair bows, but have taken to also occasionally putting Cupcake's hair into a pony tail out of necessity... sometimes it is the only hair style she will leave alone!

- Our new location doesn't have neeeear the shop-portunities that our previous location did. This is leading to a LOT of online ordering. I may become a pro at finding deals online while we are here, and also have some exciting cashback tips too!

- I've gotten a few new handbags that I'll share with you in a future blog post... some that I think will work great, others that I've decided aren't going to work for my lifestyle. So I'll share a review of all of those at some point and also still on my "to do" list is the Best Mommy Bags video - I haven't forgotten! (Here's a sneak peak... the Balenciaga Work unfortunately is not going to make the list!)

Here are some pictures of the girls' work in progress rooms!

The jungle animal themed room...

And the beginnings of our cupcake tea party room...

I know... a lot of work yet to be done. 

So I hope everyone is having a Happy Halloween!! Cupcake is dressing up as a monkey this evening, and then her little stuffed monkey that she carries around everywhere with her is dressing up as... her! (Bow in hair, wearing a onesie, etc.) I'm looking forward to sharing some pictures and having a fun Halloween! It's one of our favorite holidays, right after Christmas & Thanksgiving! Be safe everyone!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Ugh... moving!

So here's what is going on in my life right now... moving!!

And let me tell you, when you have a 15 month old, 2 cats, and you're pregnant - it's not for sissies.

The hubby got a new job in Illinois, so we are making the move from Michigan next week. It's taken about a month for things to fall into place for the move, but it seems like now that things have gotten started... they are going in hyper speed!

Our house here in Michigan was listed on the market and received an offer that we accepted less than a week later, our closing date on the sale of our house is in less than a month. I"m thankful that it happened that quickly, because driving two cats and a toddler in the car to be out of the house for showings was starting to get to me - and that was with only a few days of having to do it! After having an offer that we placed on a house to buy in Illinois fall through after the property we were looking to buy failed the radon test, we had to scramble to find some place to live - especially considering our house here in Michigan had "sold" at that point, and we no longer had time to wait around to find something! As luck would have it, we found a fabulous house to rent (since we no longer had the time to close on a property) and it had the same specifications as houses we were looking to buy - 4 bedroom, 2+ bath, & 3 car garage (a MUST for hubby now, apparently...), BUT the kicker is... it is a house that the builders built as a model/office show house and never filled. So we are going to be living in a BRAND NEW house for the first time! Kind of a stroke of luck there, so we'll see how we like it!

So other than just trying to keep up with whether we are going to have some place to live or are not going to have some place to live on that particular day... my main focus lately has been getting holiday gear for the GIRLS (that's right, girls!! I had to order doubles of bows for the first time ever on this last order, very surreal!!) and stocking up on holiday bows. I'll be sure to share pictures of all of the adorable holiday bows I found and also pictures of their new rooms after we move.

I'm trying to keep my shopping to a minium at this point, since everything I buy will have to be moved by the movers or I stand a chance of missing in the mail at this point if I have to order it... so I've attempted to put a few week hold on ordering anything that has to be shipped. That shouldn't be too hard... right? RIGHT?!?!? ;)

Still no nick name for the new baby, but I have a feeling that will come along after she arrives... for now it's just Cupcake and the new baby. Speaking of those two though, I have to share the adorable wall letters that I ordered from Cute Kid Creations - which as you know is one of my favorite stores to get room decor for kids! She did a fabulous job on them, and I can't wait to put these up in the girls' new rooms!

Cupcake's wall letters, cupcake themed - of course...

And the new baby's wall letters - her room is being done in jungle animal theme...

I'll be sure to update about our move as I can and I'm really hoping this craziness lessens at some point. I feel like I haven't even been able to focus on being pregnant AT ALL this time around! This pregnancy has been so different from my pregnancy with Cupcake!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

New Sephora & MAC purchases!

I've been on a bit of a makeup binge lately, it's so fun though. Some fun purchases I wanted to share are the Urban Decay 15th Anniversary eyeshadow palette, that I ordered from Sephora to also get the Dolce & Gabbana perfume VIB freebie... and a few fun lip colors from MAC. I was super excited to receive the Urban Decay palette, because the Naked palette was such a hit for me!

The palette arrived yesterday, and I was pleasantly surprised when I opened it to see the colors. I'd ordered the palette only after seeing the colors online, and I wasn't sure if some of them would be as wearable or good looking in real life as they came across in promotional pictures. However after I opened my palette, I was happy to find that a number of the colors jumped out at me as very wearable and great for daytime looks.

The packaging was also fantastic, it's a very weighty palette and comes with the cutest velvet lining - with a little storage compartment underneath the shadows. (Note: Be careful trying to open the storage compartment, I nicked the shadow in the bottom right corner trying to get it open after I took these pictures... and eventually devised a successful plan to open it with a chop stick. So I'm not sure how useful the compartment would be in the long run until the shadow is all gone.)

Upon first glance, my favorite colors in the 15th anniversary palette are: Omen, Midnight 15, Vanilla, Flow, Deeper, and MIA. We'll see if those are still favorites once I get a chance to try them out! I'm planning on trying to swatch the colors tonight, so I'll try to upload some photos tomorrow of how they look against my fair skin.

Also included in my box from Sephora was a freebie available to VIBS - a deluxe size spray of Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue fragrance. I'm excited to try it out, as I posted in my previous blgo post - because it seems to be reviewed as a universally flattering perfume. (And I've also heard that almost all males love it on women, so we'll see if my husband takes notice at all!)

And just because it arrived in the mail at the same time that my Sephora box arrived... here are a few items that I ordered from MAC while they were having their free shipping promotion. Blankety lipstick and Evolution Revolution lipglass.

Here's a quick swatch of what they look like on, great neutrals for everyday!

MAC Blankety lipstick on left; MAC Evolution Revolution lipglass on right

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Finishing off the summer by trying out some new perfumes...

I've been kind of finding myself in beauty related "themes", trying out new eye products, then new lip products, then going onto things related to hair. (Really loving some products by Alterna and Ojon, which I'll do a review on in the future.) My most recent interest though has been changing up my perfumes, trying to rotate some new choices into my typical "go-to" choices.

The perfumes that I keep on hand and that I wear year round are light, playful fragrances - that can be worn daily and adapt to a number of situations. I've worn Vera Wang Princess for years and it's one of my go-to perfumes that I don't hesitate to use for daily wear. It's flirty and has a slight floral undertone, but isn't overpowering because I hate feeling like I'm walking around in a perfume wall., 1.7 oz. size, $60

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy is another one of my favorites that I keep on hand, also light and not overpowering. It's a sweet smelling perfume with slight floral undertones and has staying power that really only lasts for a few hours, so it's better for short trips out of the house to run errands or something to that effect., 1.7 oz. size, $69

One of the heavier perfumes that I rotate in to my routine occasionally, but don't use on a daily basis is Chanel's Chance. It has more of a musky undertone that my other more daily use perfumes - but is nice when I want to be a bit dressier or I'm going to dinner., 1.7 oz, $68

Onto the perfumes that I'm planning on trying to rotate into my usual choices. I received a small sample of Dolce & Gabbana's Light Blue from Sephora and then read reviews on it that said it was universally flattering. I have a deluxe sample on the way to me from Sephora to try out and if all goes well it might be brought into the rotation. It has a light scent that is nice enough for every day, but is different enough from my other staple perfumes that it should be a nice  option for something different to wear., 1.6 oz. size, $64

Okay, this next one... I admit, I just want because of the pretty, pretty packaging. Ha! I've been eyeing the Hello Kitty perfume sold exclusively at Sephora ever since it was first released, and I think it might be time to try it. From the reviews and also a deluxe sample that I've been using at home - it does smell a lot like a watered down version of Juicy Couture's Viva La Juicy. However, I think it *might* be just different enough to justify the purchase of the adorable Hello Kitty atomizer perfume bottle... because after all, that's an investment too, right?, 1.7 oz size, $55

One last perfume that I've been thinking of trying, for I admit - reasons of marketing more than anything - is Escada's Taj Sunset. Sephora has a deal going on right now when you spend $25 online, you can receive a free deluxe sample of this perfume. It's supposed to have a fruity scent and sounds like it would be the perfect perfume to round out the summer on..., 1.6 oz. size, $55

So what perfumes will I end up choosing to add into the collection to end summer with? It's anyone's guess, but I'm planning on heading over to Sephora this week to compare some of the previously mentioned perfumes and to also test a few perfumes, like Marc Jacobs' Oh, Lola. I'll be sure to do a review on the ones I choose!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hooray for Sephora boxes! ~ NARS mini haul ~

I love the sound of the UPS truck... especially when it has a handbag or Sephora box on it for me!

Today it was the latter, and I was excited to try out some new colors, as well as receive a few freebies with my order!

The first freebie was a makeup set for VIBs, free with the code 'MUSTHAVE' (may still be available, it is good until supplies run out) - and was for a Make Up For Ever set of four items with a cute little cosmetic bag. It came with a lip gloss, finishing powder, mascara, and aqua eyes liner.

My other freebie was the Too Faced 500 point gift, . I finally decided to cash in some points I'd had saved up since I have fairly good luck with Too Faced products, and it seemed like a fun little set.

The main things that I actually ordered... were a few things from NARS. (Which we will refer to as my 'NARS mini haul', ha!) A blush in Angelika, lipstick in Mayflower, and lip lacquer in Chelsea Girls. I was looking for a fun, pink nude lip color for summer - and I needed a brighter blush as well. I tend to gravitate towards plums and darker colors for cheeks & lips, so I constantly have to remind myself to add in lighter colors to my collection every so often.

I've already tried out a few of the products, and I love everything I purchased from NARS. The colors were as I expected them (well, I thought Mayflower was going to be a little bit lighter from it's picture online - but it's still a really pretty color none the less) and very wearable. Angelika looks intimidating in the packaging (which I had anticipated from reviews online), but is very wearable with a light hand. I went into trying it with what I *thought* was a light hand... and I'm going to need to be even lighter next time.

Mayflower is a pretty light raspberry color with a bit of shimmer, it's similar to the popular Dolce Vita - which I also own (I'll try to swatch them to compare at some point)... but it is different enough that I went ahead and decided to keep both. Chelsea Girls is a great nude color to go over lipsticks and give that nude lip look.

I think all three colors are great additions to my NARS collection and bring a bit more of a "summery" look into my makeup options!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Ultra cute Scentsy cupcake warmer!

Scentsy's "warmer of the month" for July is an adorable mid-sized pink and green themed cupcake!

I hadn't tried Scentsy before, but have a few friends that are consultants and numerous friends that have raved about using Scentsy in their homes... so decided to finally give it a try! And well... you can get me to buy just about anything if it's shaped like a cupcake.

The cupcake warmer is the warmer of the month for July 2011, and I also ordered the scent of the month, Happy Birthday. The cupcake warmer is classified as "mid-sized" and although I don't have any of their other warmers to compare sizes just yet, I would say that it's a really generous size. Much larger than I anticipated it was going to be. (So much bigger, that I decided that if this is the size is standard to their other warmers... mid-sized is probably the biggest size that I would need in my house - because it looks size appropriate for a counter top or something of that nature.)

If you've been living a rock like I have, and haven't tried Scentsy yet (because it seems like everyone I know has already tried these...) the deal is that it melts little bars of fragranced wax with the use of a light bulb and is covered, so that it is more pet and child friendly to have in your home than an open flame.

The scent I ordered, Happy Birthday, smells fantastic - and it has a lot better staying power than other room scent options I've tried once it's turned off. Hubby noticed it instantly when he came upstairs the first night I tried it, and agreed that it smelled like, "walking through a field of cupcakes"... Ha!

I think I'm going to be trying a few different types of warmers and scents in the future, perhaps a nice apple smell for the kitchen and wall plug-in warmers for places like our bathroom. While these are definitely safer than an open flame to have in your common living areas where adults are present - the wax that gets heated up in the top (and the cover itself) does get VERY hot. So it could be a burn hazard if tipped over near children or pets. I used pot holders to take the cover off to see what the wax looked like once it was turned off. So a sturdy location that is high enough out of a child's reach is probably the best spot to keep it, as with all heated scent home items.

All in all, I'm really pleased with my first Scentsy product and I can't wait to try another item from their product line!

This review was done independently. Reviewer did not receive compensation for their opinions.