Mar 29, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Tokidoki's Gelato Lip Balms

The brand, Tokidoki, is really new to me. I've seen the display many times while shopping at Sephora and though the packaging is extremely bright and fun, I've never tried any of their products. About three weeks ago that changed. See, I needed some new lip balm, literally. For some reason, my lips have been so chapped. Typically, I never get chapped lips. Allan says it's because I can't go more than 9 minutes without applying something to my lips (which is very true) but all the lipstick/gloss in the world can not prevent the chappy horror story happening on my face. So, instead of buying my tried-and-true lip balm (Rosebud Perfume Co. Minted Rose Lip Balm...yummy) I figured I should try something different so I picked out two lip balms from Tokidoki's line: Gelato Lip Balm Stain in Donutella and Pink Martini. First impression is fantastic. I love the packaging (it's super bright, cheerful and there are tons of cute little characters surrounding the tube) and the lip colors are very vibrant. I used the Pink Martini balm first and was instantly drawn to it's bright fuschia tone. Seriously, this product not only goes on smooth BUT actually adds the perfect amount of color. The Donutella shade, though, is more of a sheer coral-strawberry shade and has slowly become my go-to coral tone. The downside is that your lips do not stay moisturized for very long. Though the color of the balm lasts a long time on your lips, the balm-feeling does not. So, you still feel like you need to apply the balm every five minutes, even though the color is still on your lips. Because I've been wearing this gloss for the past two days solid, I've ended up with very flaky, chapped lips. I still love the Donutella shade but am thinking I'll need to wear it over the Rosebud balm if I want to continue my relationship with this colorful product. My lips are, quite obviously, screaming for additional moisture. Have you ladies tried this line before? Oh, and what's your go-to lip balm? I'm thinking I could really use some advice in that area at the moment.....

Mar 27, 2011

Giveaway Winner Announced...

This morning, after waking up in our new condo (YAY), the first thing I did was find my laptop, opened and populated a winner for my first giveaway.

So, drum roll please........

Congratulations to Rachel Lee! (Above and left are snippets of the selection and the excel spreadsheet verifying her as the winner!)

I have sent her an email and if I haven't heard back from her within three days, I'll select someone else.

Thanks again to everyone who entered AND for following me in the process. You guys are all awesome.


Mar 25, 2011

DIY Beauty Fridays: Homemade Lip Scrub

Wednesday was supposed to be my "wear red lipstick to work" day. So, I woke up, had my shower and plopped myself down at my vanity table to create a dramatic "hump day" look. Unfortunately, when the time came to apply the lipstick, I realized my lips were a tad bit flaky. Now everyone knows that you can not wear red lipstick unless your lips are absolutely perfectly smooth and buffed. So, instead of running to the kitchen to create my quick lip scrub, I added more shadow to my eyes and went for a dramatic eye look instead. Still nice BUT not the look I wanted.... Lip scrubs are the easiest to make because you only need two ingredients. I've bought many many many lip scrubs over the years and always seem to go back to this because it's inexpensive and does exactly what it's supposed to. You take: 1 tbsp canola/vegetable/olive oil (whatever you have at home) 1 tsp sugar Mix both ingredients together until it's extremely gritty. (Adjust the amounts to how you like. Sometimes, if my lips are really flaky, I'll add extra sugar.) Once combined, apply to lips and rub around in circular motions. (Usually for about 5-7 minutes.) Remove with a warm washcloth and you're good to go. Seriously, this mixture is by far the easiest product to make and works like a charm. You can actually use this same recipe as a body scrub as well. You'll be amazed, trust me. So, today is without a doubt a "wine day". By this I mean drinking something that's ready to go and easy to drink. This week has been an absolute horror for me (because of the packing) and I can not wait for Sunday to roll around when we finally get to wake up in our new home. I'll be honest, I don't know that much about wine but I sure love how I feel after a couple glasses....ha. Bottoms up ladies and happy scrubbing! XO

Mar 24, 2011

My First Giveaway Ending in Two Days

This is just a quick reminder that if you haven't already entered my giveaway then you might one to do so now since it is ending March 26th at 11:59 pm (PST).

I also have to apologize for the short post today. The man and I are still trying to pack for our big move on Saturday morning. Not only do I have anything not packed to do a review on BUT I can't even find any of my work clothes either. Ha!

If you want to enter the giveaway, click here!


Mar 23, 2011

It's Not All Positive For Cake’s Satin Sugar Hair & Body Refreshing Powder

It takes quite a bit for me to have a strong, passionate dislike for a beauty product. And even now, sitting here typing away, I’m completely dumbfounded as to how such a highly regarded product flat out refuses to work on my hair. Oh, by the way, I'm talking about Cake’s Satin Sugar Hair & Body Refreshing Powder for Darker Hues. (Yes, very very very long name.)

I saw this in Sephora and fell in love with it immediately. Typically for dry shampoos, I use Batiste, Tresemme, or Oscar Blandi but liked this one because of the smell. It literally smells like cookies! Not only that, but the powder has a nice subtle sheen to it which will give a nice sparkle to your skin as well. Needless to say, I bought it.

I was so excited to use it when I woke up the next morning so after my shower, I whipped off my shower cap and tapped a bit of the powder into my hands before running my hands through my hair. My hair went instantly soft and smelled absolutely delicious! After that, I went to work styling my hair and left for work.

Sounds like a dream product I know, but here’s the kicker. During the day, my hair became EXTREMELY lifeless and flat. Yes, it was still soft but my hair looked very oily and flat. (Definitely not a nice combination when you have short hair…) When I got home, (about 11 hours after I applied it) I looked like I had been trapped in a rain storm. My usually voluminous red hair was plastered to my forehead. Not a pretty sight. Even after this, I was still reluctant to throw the towel in so last night, after work, I came home and decided to use the powder again. I tipped even LESS product in my hand, worked it into my hair and waited. Yes the smell was great and yes, my hair was soft but three hours later my hair was flat...again. Despite all the great reviews I've read of this product, it's just not going to work as a hair product for me.

However, I have been using this as a check bronzer and am loving it! I can’t wait for summer (and when I'm slightly tanned) so I can wear this product on my arms. So, despite being terrible for my hair, it’s brilliant on my skin.

Have any of you tried this product? What are your thoughts?

Mar 22, 2011

Lovely Luminescent Glow from Benefit

According to my makeup artist pal Ariella, she gets more compliments on her complexion while wearing Benefit's High Beam Luminescent Complexion Enhancer than any other product on the market.

So, I did what any girl in her right mind would do. I bought it.

On the weekend I purchased the product from my lovely neighborhood Sephora and rushed home to try it. Now, get this...according to the box, this particular item is the makeup artist's secret to a healthy glow. (How fitting hey? It's almost like Ariella had a hand in the product's description...ha).

The box also explains to use this over makeup on your cheeks and brow bones to give off a pixie-like shimmer. (My words, not the box). I opened the box and the product is housed in a bottle that looks very similar to a nail polish container. In fact, you even apply it with a little brush. The complexion enhancer is pale pink in color and very easy to apply. Plus, it spreads very well over makeup, leaves the skin with a very soft texture AND actually makes you glow. (In a healthy yet subtle way.) Another nice thing is that you definitely don't need much so this bottle will last quite a long time.

Did I get anyone complimenting me on my complexion you ask? Ha, actually, yes I did! Can you imagine? I wore it to go grocery shopping that Sunday morning and a woman stopped me in the aisle and told me I had perfect skin. (This, my friends, was a lie as I had a huge pimple on my chin but the compliment made me feel like a million bucks).

I am really liking this product and if you're looking for a nice, subtle illuminator, I highly recommend it. Have any of you ladies tried it before? What do you think?


Mar 21, 2011

Boscia Acne Skincare - A Guest Blog by Carmen

When a friend is in need of skincare advice, who else to turn to but Christina right? Well that’s what I figured, so when blemishes of gargantuan proportion started surfacing on all parts of my face over a period of about a week, I decided immediate action needed to take place and got on the pipe with the ‘Lady with the Answers’ immediately. It just so happened that she had recently picked up a test set of the basic products from the Boscia Line with a points credit she had at Sephora. (I’m sure she gets a freebee each week with the amount of product she buys haha...) Of course nothing comes free right?.....well actually she is very generous, so of course they do with her, but in this case, the payment requested for using this tester was that I blog about it of course!

I am aware that my recent skin issues are due to hormonal imbalances and changes, and that $1000 products would not necessarily fix this immediately. But I was eager to see what benefits, if any, this new skin care line would offer me. The first day I used the products I noticed the light, non-sticky, pleasant smelling texture to this product line, and instantly loved its look and feel. I received five products, and have recently purchased one more, so here are my thoughts:

Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil - My first reaction was surprise since it’s an oil [of course I had not read the title of the product, otherwise I wouldn’t have been surprised!]. Wash with oil? When I already have an oily complexion? Weird.... but I’ll try anything. The first few days I noticed that it did a bang up job of getting all my makeup off, even my eye makeup and was quite impressed that little to no residue was left behind when I did a spot check with toner and a cotton swab. Imagine my surprise when Christina asked me if I was supposed to put it on dry or not...of course I didn’t let on my ignorance to her as I had just assumed one would wet their face first as with normal products. So I went back and re-read the fine print, and sure enough, it says to put on a dry face! Wow, an incredible difference. An already great face wash just became amazing. It almost naturally heats with the friction of your fingers, and removes EVERYTHING on your face. It also leaves ones skin feeling moist and supple. Love this product!

Enlivening Amino AG Eye Treatment - A few months ago Christina put me onto an under eye stick. She told me I was looking haggard and needed some help. (This is a joke; she would never be so rude!!) So I have been faithfully using the Garnier under eye stick since and it works fabulously! However, I decided to trust that the Boscia one would be equally as good and shelved Garnier for the time being. Instead of a liquid, this is a fairly thick, but non greasy cream, that you lightly rub into the sags, bags and dark pouches under and around one’s eyes. I can’t say enough about how immediate the difference was! Even though I had been using a similar product the Bosica product has vastly reduced my bags and darkness leaving my eye zone area looking much more alive.

Oil Free Daily Hydration - I have never in my life been picky about moisturizers or even particularly aware of if they work or not. This one is on the lighter side, has good coverage with a small amount, and doesn’t leave my face greasy feeling at all. I have noticed a small amount of flaking of skin in certain areas of my face, but it could just be the nature of the fact that it’s still winter here, and the wind and colder temperatures tend to dry out certain zones anyways. All in all, this is a nice product – and one that I will continue using.

Skin Perfecting Primer - OH MY! I was in love with this the first time I used it! Thick but not greasy – amazing coverage – and I hardly have to blot the slickness off my face anymore. (This is apparently one of the benefits of using a primer). The mineral makeup I use glides over this primer with amazing ease and my makeup now never cakes or creases. I will swear by this until I die.....well, or until Christina puts me onto the next best thing. But honestly, I actually look forward to putting this on every morning. One thing to be aware of however is that if this product gets too close to your eyes it will sting and make them water. So ensure you close your eyes for a few seconds if that happens and it goes away.

Green Tea Blotting Linens - I have used blotting sheets for years, and had some I love and some I don’t love so much. These are by far my favourite for a few reasons. They are sheet can do my whole face and even have some of the sheet left over. The dispensing system is like a Kleenex box where when you pull one out, another comes out behind it. This is so much better than trying to get your finger or nail behind one paper thin sheet to pull out. The paper is very organic feeling; you can tell it is made from natural materials which makes me feel great about the environment as well. It whisks the shine off my face like no other blotting paper has, and leaves no smell or residue behind.

Clear Complexion Treatment with Botanical Blast - After a few days, I realized that no matter how much I loved the products, my acne was not disappearing as fast as I wanted it to, and I needed to get a spot treatment. I went to Sephora and bought the matching one to the line (kinda pricy....I know I’m in for a hefty bill when my test kit runs out, but it will be worth it). I love the pump dispenser, and its active ingredient is Willow Bark so the scent is light and pleasant. This is an all over, or as needed treatment that can be put under makeup for day, or before bed (or both) to combat the growth of those nasty red things. To begin with, I used it morning and night, and liked how fast it dried on my skin, and how it didn’t leave a crust at all like some topical spot zit zappers do. Now that my skin is clearing, (yes, finally it is!!) I am only using it as needed at night to preserve the product for future breakouts. Since my skin scars incredibly easily, I now have some lingering redness to deal with – perhaps I need to get a green cover stick based on Christina’s love of them as read in a recent post of hers.

All in all, my Boscia testing experience has been a great one, and I have found a new product line that I plan to continue with for the foreseeable future. Christina, I hope this blog suffices as payment, and that we are now even... Any time you want me to be your guinea pig for future products, as one face can only test so much, I'm here!!!

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