Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Lusts

Light weight scarves are perfect this time of year and into the summer months.  Not only are they stylish, but they can keep you warm in the air conditioning without being too bulky to wear outdoors.  Tis scarf from MIKOUX is beautiful in bright spring/summer colors, and it is 100% silk making it thin enough to wear when the temps rise.

I have heard so many beauty bloggers and Youtubers rave about Bioderma Sensibo H20 that I know I just need to try it.  It is a soap free cleanser that gently cleanses and removes face & eye makeup.  This would be perfect on the go and to cut down on the number of make-up wipes I use on a regular basis.

The Caudalie Beauty Elixir is another product so many rave about.  It is a toner and serum mist and one and smell AMAZING!!

I really need/want a laptop pouch and really love that this one has an additional pocket for my charger or even my ipad.  

I have kind of worn out my ipad mini case and really want a new one.  I love this one from CometCover in rose gold and white leatherette.  

Elizabeth Arden's 8 Hour Skin Protectant is another product that seems to be everywhere and one that I really want to try.  It is very multifunctional serving as a moisturizer, skin ointment, lip balm, hair pomade and many others.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday Finds

I want to be Kendra Kay.  She is in interior designer, has a great sense of style, and is so funny.  Her posts put me in stitches!  I love her recent tales of jury duty.

UK Blog > Miss Makeup Magpie
I love reading UK beauty blogs and learning of all the products not available here in the states.  While it makes me a bit jealous, I'm so intrigued by the products.  I love that Gemma's blog features an equal mix of high-end brands with drug store brands.  She offers many practical suggestions and tips in terms of product choices.

Another blog from across the pond - I tend to find a lot more beauty blogs from the UK then here in the states.  Poppy is cute as a button and I love all the photos she uses in her product reviews.  I especially loved her recent How much is my face worth post

While Urbanic Paper Boutique is just a pop-up shop, there official site is launching soon.  The pop-up shop has so many cute paper goods that I can't wait to see what the full site offers.

I was recently contacted by MIKOUX Scarves regarding their absolutely gorgeous 100% silk scarves.  Each of their scarves features a feminine image that creates a beautifully colored pattern when wrapped around your neck. 

The B Bar combines two of my favorite things; cocktails and blogging.  Their site offers a variety of different ebooks for bloggers and businesses with topics on accounting and media kits for bloggers to how businesses can work with bloggers to get the word out about their brand. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel

 I am a huge fan of Soap & Glory products as I have mentioned previously.  I got the Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser this past winter and really liked it, so I decided to try out S&G's The Fab Pore Facial Peel.  

Never having used a facial peel before, I wasn't too sure what to expect.  I imagined a green gel that I would have to peel from the skin.  This is not that.  It is more of a creamy paste with  tiny little blue beads throughout.

You just need a grape size amount, in which you rub into your face until the tiny little beads dissolve.  You can then leave it on for just 5 minutes for a "quick refresher" or 15 mintes for deep-cleaning "facial." Repeat 2-3 times weekly. 

I try to use this about twice a week, leaving it on for the full 15 minutes.  My problem areas usually start a little out from the corner of my mouth and go over and up to my outer cheek bone.  Because of that, I focus mainly on this area, very rarely putting anything on my forehead.  After the 15 minutes I use a hot/wet facecloth , lay it in my face and rub down until I get all the product off.  I then follow with my toner, serum and any other treatment I using on my skin that night, finishing off with my moisturizer.

I have only been using this for about a month and a half and while I didn't really notice much of a difference at first, I can definitely see a difference when I don't use it.  My skin tends to break out and is a bit more spotty and uneven (when I don't use it).   The Fab Pore Facial Peel makes my face a lot more softer and smoothes my skin.  The overall condition is much better as I have seen an improvement in the the tone and evenness of my complexion.   I can definitely see this becoming a holy grail for me and something I continuously repurchase.  

A 1.7 oz jar retails for $25 at Sephora.  According to the packing it has a 12 month shelf life once opened.  I have been using it for about 6 weeks now and the jar is still quite full.

Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored review, nor I am receiving any compensation.  This item was purchased by me and all opinions expressed are my own.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quote of the Week

Product Review: BA Star Palette

BA Star is a cosmetic brand that specializes in competitive dance and cheerleading cosmetics.  Not being of either category, I had never heard of the brand before receiving the Natural Shadow Palette to review.   

The palette contains 3 mineral shadows in bronze, cocoa and nude.  It also contains 2 gel glitters in gold and crystal.  The glitter shadows are not really my thing, but the mineral shadows are really gorgeous.

All three colors are a bit more on the foil side, which I prefer over shimmers.   Bronze is the medium shade of the three.  It is a coopery bronze that I like to use in the inner third of my lid.  Cocoa is the darkest of the three and one that I use in the outer third and crease.  It is a very multidimensional chocolate brown.  Nude is the lightest color of the three.  I would have probably named it champagne rather than nude.  It is a perfect highlighter for the brow bone. I also like to use it in the inner third and corner of my eye.

While I probably won't get too much use, if any, of the gel glitters I tested them on my hand and they blended better than expected.  I also didn't have to scrub my entire hand to get the glitter off.  The glitter removed relatively easily.

I swatched this palette twice, once without a primer and once with.  I got the exact same color payoff with and without the primer.   I was actually impressed with how pigmented the mineral shadows were.  

Even though this palette is geared towards cheerleaders and dancers, the mineral shadows can easily be used by anyone and everyday.  The colors are gorgeous and highly pigmented. They also blend out very well, so you can make them as dramatic or natural as you want.  At $8.75 it is definitely worth checking out.

The BA Star Palette can be found on BA Star's website.  They are offering 50% off to my readers by using discount code BBSMOKY upon checkout.

Disclaimer:  While the BA Star Palette was sent to me at no charge through BrandBacker for the purpose of  review, all options expressed are my own.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Lusts

Graphic Image does some really luxurious leather goods.  I really love that they wrap some timeless reads in leather.  They offer titles from How to Kill a Mockingbird, 1000 Places to See Before You Die, and Vogue Covers.  You can even get a leather bound Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

I envision this platter from Anthropologie on my vanity to display cosmetics and other beauty essentials.

I almost bought the Limited Edition Aqualillies Inspired Amazonian Clay Waterproof Eye And Cheek Palette by Tarte at Sephora the other night.  Everything about it is absolutely gorgeous and with a blush, bronzer, highlighter and 6 shadows I think it would be perfect for a summer getaway without needing much of anything else.  I regret not buying it when I had it in my hands.

Nail polish chips on me really fast, so I have been getting gel manicures.  The problem with gel is I am limited to color options and I can't easily switch it up on my own.  The salesman at Sephora told me that this was an amazing top coat that offers gel like shine and extended wear.

I am a sucker for pouches and bags and just about all kinds of containers in general.  I saw Kikic's decorative zipper "glam bags" on Rachel Talbot's recent packing video and of course I want them. I think they will be so cute for traveling and storing different things.

I just splurged on an expensive handbag this past winter and now want the LV Neverfull GM.  I think it would be a great carry all for work and travel, and since I tend to carry a lot more than I need, the GM would be a dream for me!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Life Lately

Mixed Metals | Indulgence after a long week | Simple and Clean Magazine Cover | Two Coffees Twice This week | One Boston

I picked up some new bracelets last weekend and have really liked the way some of of the gold and silver looked together.  I used to always only wear silver, but over the last year or so I have really loved yellow gold again and have been wearing it non stop.

This has been a super long and draining week.  Not knowing that the city was going to be on lock down yesterday, I picked up a bag of Ghirardelli Salted Caramel Squares Thursday night (My absolute favorite).  It was a good thing because a day glued to the news called for a lot of chocolate squares.

May's issue of InStye has to be the most gorgeous cover I have ever seen.  I love how simple and clean it is.  

 I love when I leave for work early in the morning and have time to stop at Starbucks before it gets too crazy.  I was greedy and got myself two coffees twice this week.  And since the weather has been really nice, I made the switch to iced coffee.

This week Boston was faced with tragedy. God bless the victims and a million thank yous to all those involved in yesterday's capture.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Reflection

A Patriot is defined as one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.  It is a term deeply rooted in the history of Boston and celebrated across the Bay State each April. 

Patriot’s Day, or Marathon Monday as it is more commonly called, has always symbolized the beginning of spring for me.  For some reason, that 3rd Monday of April always seems to be the day I start to notice the trees budding and flowers blooming. 

Even in the middle of the harshest winter, I would think of driving down the Marathon route on my way home from work, putting myself in that day. The ground covered in orange rinds, water cups and sponges as the remaining runners make their way towards Heartbreak Hill.  It’s the one-day that I don’t mind the drive home as I drive down Commonwealth Avenue. I imagine what the energy was like just hours before and wonder what the day has been like for the runners and what the next 6 miles would bring them. 

I can't remember a Patriot's Day where the sun wasn't shining and there wasn't so much energy in the city that you can't help but feel a sense of excitement and pride to be a part of something bigger then yourself.

This year someone tried to take that away from us.  Someone tried to dampen our spirits.  Lives were lost, people were injured and the city we call home will never be the same. 
But our spirit is not broken.  Through this travesty has come a greater sense of community and pride to be a Bostonian.  And if you have ever experienced singing Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park you may have never thought a greater sense of pride was possible. 

In an article posted on Linked In on Tuesday Glenn Kalman, the author, wrote  "Until I'd run the Boston Marathon, I had no idea that an entire city could, without calculation or reservation, express so much love."   

We will never lose that love.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

bloglovin' blog hop | guest host


Thank you to everyone who linked up last week!! We had almost 50 links so I would consider that a success! Lets help this bloglovin' blog hop grow by sharing with your friends, followers, and adding the button to your sidebar!

Grab the button above and put it in your linky list or sidebar.

Follow your host, co-hosts, and guest host on bloglovin'. Leave a comment that you're a new follower so we can all come and check you out!

Link up your bloglovin' URL only. We had several people that submitted their blogs URL, but this is a bloglovin' hop so only link up your bloglovin' account, please!

Hop around and visit some of the other blogs that linked up and give them a follow. This is all about making new friends and finding new reads, not just linking up and expecting everyone to follow you.

Pin, Tweet, Facebook, blog this link up! The more exposure it gets, the more potential followers for you! 

Your Host:

Your Co-Hosts:

Ashley @ Chevron Stitches
Heidi @ Antlers & Roses 
Torrie @ Fox + Hazel
Shannon @ Sassy Lemonade

Your Guest Host:
Deana @ Tesori Belle

**If you and interested in being a guest host, please email us at [at] gmail [dot] com

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Happy Birthday to My Sister!

Today is my sisters birthday.  Happy Birthday Sissy!
Sisters, or I guess siblings in general, are a special gift.  They are of the few people that really understand you because they have been with you since the very beginning.  No matter what your parents may have done wrong, they gave you a friend for life.  As much as my sister drives me crazy and how much we fought growing up (at times we hated each other)  I can't imagine being an only child or having any other sister but mine.

Happy Birthday big sister.  I hope you have a great day.  (And remember, I'll never be as old as you J!!)

And Danielle - if you are reading this, can you explain to me why Ma put me in head to toe  mustard?  I really hope that was pajamas!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Bedroom Tour

One of my favorite rooms of the house is my bedroom.  It is just a tranquil relaxing place to lounge and do just about nothing.  I probably shouldn't admit this, but I would be content laying in bed all day watching YouTube on my Apple TV and blogging.  

Last month, I guest blogged for the amazing Fannie of Living Life in...PINK where I shared my tips on bedroom decor.  It was fun putting my tips together especially because while doing so I was also in the midst of redecorating my own bedroom.

My old furniture was almost 10 years old and starting to fall apart, which caused me to redecorate in the first place.  I didn't go with a full bedroom set, rather I mixed pieces from a few different places and used a lot of the decor items that I already had, adding in just a couple new things.

I really wanted an upholstered headboard and was in love with this one from Pier 1 for the longest time but there was no way I was going to spend full price for it.  I watched it for weeks before getting the floor model on sale because one of the locations near me was closing for renovations.  (It is by sheer coincidence that the color matches my throw and actually hate the fact that it does).  The basket at the foot of my bed is great storage for an extra blanket.  It is a bit old, but I do want to eventually replace it with either a similar larger basket that matches a lot of the gray-brown pieces or an upholstered bench.

My two nightstands are both from the Hemnes collection at IKEA but different styles (here and here). I got them in the grey brown color because it is a prettier softer hue that looks good with the other colors in my room and matches other pieces that I bought along with them.  

Because the headboard is a focal piece in itself, I didn't want to add anything over it.  Instead I got vintage sconces on Etsy.

My bookshelves are also from the Hemnes collection at IKEA in grey brown (here). 
Along with my books, which I like to lay horizontally, I display little odds and ends that I have collected over the years.

I don't have room for a full desk, but this Laptop Table is the perfect size to store my laptop and keep a few other essentials.  I also have a small cork board strip that I use to tack up quotes, cards and other notes.

I really love my dresser.  I display a lot of my everyday products out on a silver tray along with my perfume, candles, and my magnifying mirror.  (I don't know how I ever lived without a lighted mirror - and I love how this one is a bit more decorative than a traditional make-up mirror).  

My gray-brown Hemnes mirror just sits on the back of my dresser.  I liked that it looks just a little less done that way. 

The greatest thing about my dressers are that both have jewelry storage. 

The skull is actually a candle holder from Yankee Candle that I got last halloween.  I just think it is pretty, so I keep it out all year round.

I really love this eggplant purse that my sister got my for Christmas.  Since it is so pretty and a little too bulky to store,  I displayed it on the top of my tall dresser when I'm not using it.

When furniture shopping I fell in love with a set of dressers that I found at one of the larger furniture store (here & here).  They were a lot more than I wanted to spend.  I ended up looking at about 5 different places and at the last one, which I didn't even want to go to, I found these ones that are almost identical but significantly less expensive. 

Home decor is all about your own personal style.  No matter what your style is, focus on your core pieces first (in my case my dressers and bed) then add your secondary items (nightstands, bookshelves, desk, mirror).  For my secondary items I choose to stick with the Hemnes collection in gray-brown because I liked the color, could find items that went together, and was inexpensive enough that in a  few years I can easily update the room with a different scheme.  

Disclaimer:  All products shown were purchased by me.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Lusts

Sunday Lusts 4.7.2013

Marc by Marc Jacobs Marc'd & Check'd Printed 13" Computer Case - I have a snap on case for my mac book but it is rather bulky that I would prefer a sleeve case to slip it into when not in use.

Origins Drink Up™ 10 Minute Mask to Quench Skin's Thirst - I used this years ago and loved how it instantly added moisture to any dry spots.  

Bamboo Key Fob, Elaine Turner

Fashion Sets Collection Lipstick in Ablaze, MAC Cosmetics - This is such a gorgeous vibrant pinky orange.

E-Reader Case in Champagne, Elaine Turner - According to their website this fits the iPad Mini.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Unexpected Haul

I went to the mall the other day and had intended to just pink up some cleanser, but ended up getting a few more things that I had planned.

Flannel Facial Washcloth, The Body Shop - I got this because I thought it would be like a muslin cloth and I could use it with a hot cloth cleanser.  It is in a moisten package.  It was $6.50 which is kind of pricy for one cloth, but they now marked down on the Body Shops website.

Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes, Pacifica - I may have mentioned these before.  I really like them.  They cleanse and tone and smell nice.  I got them from Target.  I think they were about $6. 

Proactive Renewing Cleanser and Dark Spot Corrector - I ran out of cleanser and rather than having it shipped to me on a reoccurring basis as Proactiv offers, I just get it from the mall kiosk.  It is easier for me because I can just get what I need when I need it.  While there I decided to get the dark spot corrector.  I used it years ago and remember liking it so I decided to pick it up.  Each item was between $25-$30.  (I threw out my receipt)

I needed bathroom spray at Target and thought this cute little spray would be good for my bedroom to spray on my sheets.  It is smaller than it may look in the picture, as it is only 4 oz.  It smells refreshing and very springy and was only $3.

My Tweezerman tweezers are getting rather dull.  I am so bad at sending them to get sharpened that I always end up just replacing them.  I probably have about 5 pairs that I really should send in to get sharpened so I thought I would try out a pair of drugstore tweezers.  These were $3 at Target and I have heard that they are pretty decent so I thought I'd give them a try.

Boots Botanics Hot Cloth Cleansing Balm - Cleansing Balms seem to be quite popular lately so I really want to try one.  They can be pricey so when I saw this at Target for $8.50 I figured it was a good balm to try.  I have not used it yet, but  I am very intrigued by it.  The balm is literally a solid balm, similar to a lip or hand salve.  I am really excited to use this and probably will this weekend

Sweet Lemon Body Butter, The Body Shop - I didn't need a new body butter, but this was $10 and smelled good.  I also thought the lemon scent would be perfect for summer.

Disclaimer - This is not a sponsored post.  All products were purchased by me.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Friday, April 5, 2013

March Favorites

I am so happy Spring is FINALLY upon us and April is in full swing.  Here in the North East, March was somewhat snowy.  I don't want to jinx anything but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that is behind us.  Even though March was dreary, I still managed to try some products that I really really loved.

It took me some warming up to a couple of these products.  I didn't think I liked them as first, but after using them a few times, I really really enjoyed them.

Soap & Glory The Fab Pore Facial Peel - I bought this after using their Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser and absolutely loved it.  (You can see my review HERE) This is actually the first peel I ever used so I didn't know what to expect.  I don't know why but I actually expected a green gel when I opened it for the first time.  This is so nice and not at all scary (I had also envisioned having to actually peel it from the skin).  They say you can leave it on for 5-15 minutes.  I always keep it on for the full 15.  It softens and smoothes my skin and works wonders at improving the tone and evenness of my complexion.  

JASON Revitalizing Vitamin E Creme - This isn't a new product for me.  In fact, you'll probably be seeing this in an empties post very soon because I am nearing the end of it.  I have just been using it more frequently lately (daily).  I have always been really bad at moisturizing because I do have acne prone skin so I was always fearful of moisturizers.  I had a bad breakout at the beginning of March and really dried out my skin treating it, so I started piling this stuff on.  I like it because it doesn't clog my pores and because it has vitamin E it helps with hyperpigmentation and scarring.  

Oscar Blandi Pronto Texture & Volume Spray - This is one product that I didn't like at first.  This came in a kit with the Oscar Blandi Dry Shampoo of the same line, which I wanted to try.  This has a rather odd sea smell and I didn't think it really did anything, but then I used it a few times and holy hell, do I get some big hair.  I tease (just a bit) after spraying and the texture of the spray keeps the tease in tact.

NYX Pore Filler - I find this to be comparable to Benefit's the POREfessional at just a fraction of the price.  I prime my face as I normally would, and then apply this to just the inner part of my cheeks where my pores are more visible and make-up can sometimes settle in.  It creates a smooth surface so I don't get that settle.

Flower Color Play Creme Eyeshadow - This is the other product that I did not like at first.  I was thrown off by the texture.  It's not really a cream, but more of a mousse making it a bit messier to apply.  I feel like I could potentially get it all over myself, so I apply it very carefully.  

It just takes a little (I use just the tip of my pinkie) to give really great color payoff.  It is also very easy to blend out.  I have it in color CE8 - Awesome Blossom.

 Benefit BADgal Plum Mascara - I have wanted this for close to a million years and never bought it until now.  I have really been loving plum or purple as an alternative to black eyeliner and mascaras.  I think it gives my eyes just a tiny bit of subtle color.  When applied some might not even notice that it isn't black, but it is softer and pops.

e.l.f Studio Blush in Pink Passion - This is such a beautiful color.  It is very pigmented so I have to be careful to just a light hand when applying but the color is such a bright vibrant pink that gives me a natural pink blush to my cheeks.

e.l.f. blushes are super cheap at $3.  You could literally buy every single color for less than one high-end blush.  I also have this in Candid Coral, which I love in the summer when I am tan.

What were your favorite products last month?  Comment or link your favorites post in the comments section below.

Disclaimer - This is not a sponsored post.  All products were purchased by me.  All opinions expressed are my own.