Tuesday, May 28, 2013

May Cara Box Reveal

This month I participated in the Cara Box Exchange that was created by Kaitlyn of Wifessionals.  The exchange pairs you up with two other bloggers (or non bloggers if you don't have a blog); one of whom sends a box to you and the other you send a box to.   

Cara (pronouced car-rah) means beloved friend.  The whole idea behind the box is to get to know other woman around the country and send and receive gifts to/from one another.  Each month's box is centered around a theme.  This month was my first time doing the Cara Box exchange and the theme was regional.

I was paired with two amazing bloggers.  I sent a box to Alena of The Adventures of the Pidala Family 5 and received a box from Kate of Little Kate Big World.  

Kate is from Pittsburgh, PA and goes to school at Virginia Tech.  The box she sent me was themed around Virginia Tech, keeping with items that she thought I would like.

I LOVE chocolate and Russell Stover reminds me so much of when I was a child.  Both my mother and my grandfather always had a box of Russell Stover.

Since I love coffee, Kate included a Virginia Tech mug.

Kate also included a can of salted peanuts.  These most likely will not last very long!

Since I love pens and office supplies, Kate included a Virgina tech pen.  I have already tossed this in my purse!

My Cara Box also included a thoughtful mix of songs that make Kate think of her two homes (Pittsburgh and Virginia).  This was so thoughtful.  I can't wait to listen to it in my car!

I loved my Cara Box and can not wait to participate again next month.

To see what I sent Alena, check out her reveal HERE.  I am so glad she loved the items I put together in her Boston/Massachusetts themed box. 

Cara Box

For more information on Cara Box or if you are interested in signing up (you do not need to have a blog), you can do so HERE.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Quote of the Week

Sunday Lusts

Okay, so it is not Sunday, but because it is a holiday it is kind of like a Sunday.  I am a little a late, but better late than never.

Sunday Lusts 5.26.2013

SOFTYMO Super Make Off Sheet with Hyaluronic Acid, Kose - Reviews says these not only take off makeup but moisturize the face.

Stickey Anchoring Base Coat, CND - I am always looking for products that will help my at home manicure last longer and this is the same base coat many professionals use. 

Mint Embossed Python iPhone Case, Graphic Image

Leopard flip flops, GAP

Mineral Powder Bronzer, Jouer - I don't bronzers that are too shimmery and this one in Suntan has a matte finish.  

Winged Tote, Topshop

Layla Rose Gold Headphones, Frends - I featured the Taylor & Ella in a previous Sunday Lusts here and here.  I love all three styles for various reasons, and am currently obsessing over the mid-sized Layla.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

YOU should be bloglovin

With a just over about a month left before Google Reader bites the dust, its time to switch your reader.  There are different options out there, but the one I prefer is bloglovin.  

I have used bloglovin since before I even started blogging or knew what Google Reader was.  I had made the switch to Google Reader because Google Friend Connect was the preferred method for following on so many blogs.  Now that Google Reader's days are numbered, Bloglovin is back as my preferred reader.

If you haven't made the switch yet, it is super easy to import the list of blogs you follow by easily linking your google account for a quick import.  It then presents your feed in a easy to read format. You can also group the blogs you follow into different groups (that you create) so your feed stays organized.

If you are a blogger, you can claim your blog to track your followers.  You can also add a widget to your blog linking readers to your bloglovin page making it easy for them to follow.  

Whether you are a blogger or not, following blogs is quite simple on bloglovin.  You can search for your favorite blogs right on the site and easily follow without having to search a blog for their follow buttons or subscribe via email.

If you don't already use a reader to follow your favorite blogs, you definitely should.  It makes keeping track of the sites you follow super easy.  There is no need to bookmark multiple pages or get an email every time there is a new post.  You can also discover new blogs based on bloglovin's top blogs and recommendations based on what you already read.

The bloglovin app makes it so easy to read on the go and displays blogs in an mobile friendly page.


If you don't use a reader for your blog feeds (even though you should!) you can still follow your favorite blogs through social media.  Many (most) bloggers use facebook and twitter to connect with their readers.  

You can follow Tesori Belle on bloglovin, facebook twitter, and pinterest.  (I've also recently started using instagram, though I don't have much on it)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Empties #2

I have made it my mission lately to use up more of the products taking up space in my bathroom, make-up collection, vanity . . . you name it it is overrun with products.  Since the beginning of the year I have been trying not to buy products that I don't need or won't use, and instead I have been going through the products that I already have.

Since my last empties post in March, I have used a ton more products.

Yves Saint Laurent LE TEINT TOUCHE ÉCLAT Illuminating Foundation - This foundation was expensive ($55) but I really liked it.  It was light yet gave me good coverage.  Because it is illuminating it is a bit dewy but held up well on my oily spots.  I would definitely buy this again despite the price tag.

MAKE UP FOREVER HD Invisible Cover Foundation - I bought this about a year ago and really really liked it at the time.  I had experienced a huge breakout that I was self conscious about and really just wanted to hide it.  This is medium to full coverage so it worked so well at hiding all my imperfections.  I don't know if I would repurchase it because it is a little too much coverage than what I want to use now.  Despite a blemish here and there (and there and there) I like something lighter that will let my skin breath.

e.l.f Studio Cream Eyeliner - I really like the pigmentation and the staying power of  this eyeliner.  I think this may have probably been about my third or fourth jar.  My only issue with it is that it dries up SO fast.  Once opened it only lasts about 2 or 3 weeks, but for $3 I don't mind it that much.

Pacifica Purify Coconut Water Cleansing Wipes  - I have loved these wipes since I first used them earlier  this year.  I feel like they do so much more than just remove my make-up. They tone and I read recently that coconut water is good for acne prone skin.  These are my go to wipes.

Johnson's Daily Essentials Gentle Eye Make-up Removal Pads - To be honest, I don't tend to use an extra product to remove eye make-up.  I usually take it off with the same wipe I use to remove the rest of my make-up as most eye-make removers irritate my eyes. My sister gave me these from a friend of hers visiting from Ireland.  If they were available in the states I would probably purchase them. They didn't irritate and removed my eye makeup.

Soap & Glory Fab Pore Hot Cloth Cleanser - I reviewed this product back in January.  This was the first hot cloth cleanser I used.  I really liked using this in conjunction with a mask and felt it helped make my mask work better.

Boots Expert Scar Care Serum - I use this as a daily serum on my face.  I actually can't stand being without it and NEED to get to Target to replace it.  I started using it because I figured it would work for acne scarring.  It did that and made my skin so smooth, and evened out my complexion in general.  It does contain cyclopentasiloxane, which is a silicone.  I know a lot of people have a reaction to silicones, and cyclopentasiloxane particularly, but I have use this product for almost a year now and have never had a problem with it.  When I use it consistently, I find that my skin just looks better overall. 

Mario Badescu Glycolic Acid Toner - I found this to be a great alternative to my Proactiv Toner.  Because it contains glycolic acid it exfoliates dead skin cells.  I may actually buy this  instead of the Proactiv Toner.

Proactiv 30 Day 3-Step System - Proactiv is the only cleanser that clears up my skin.  Even when my skin is clear, if I stop using it I'll be okay for about 3-6 months then experience a huge breakout.  I can't go without the cleanser and repairing treatment.

Aura Cacia Tea Tree Oil - I like to always have a bottle of treat tree oil.  I'm not fussy about the brand and will either pick it up from the Body Shop or the natural food/skincare section of the super market.  It is good for drying out pimples at the very first sight.

Brazil Nut Shower Cream, The Body Shop - Brazil Nut from the Body Shop is one of my favorite scents, however I can usually only find body butter in the scent.  I snatched this up when I saw it over Christmas.  I like creamy washes and this smells great so I would definitely repurchase.

Sally Hansen Pedicure Collection Overnight Heel Repair - I got this on clearance at Walgreens one day.  I got it for about $2.50 and I really liked it.  It has the consistency of a light vaseline that you can very easily rub into your skin.  It reminded me a lot of Johnson's Baby Vaselina that I had bought in Punta Cana about 4 years ago and loved the lighter texture.

Chanel Chance Eau de Parfum spray - I have worn this scent since it first came out.  It is one of my favorite perfumes and one that I have repurchased at least a dozen times.  This particular bottle was a few years old because I had stopped wearing it because I had so many other scents.  I am trying to use up what I have before buying another perfume, but as soon as I do I will be replacing this.  

Laura Mercier Creme de Pistache Hand Creme - This is another scent that is one of my absolute favorites.  It is so yummy and the hand cream is very moisturizing.

Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Hair Spray, Boost & Lift - I kind of cheated with this because I didn't exactly finish it rather than give up on it.  It gave my hair great volume, but it also make it too stiff and the spray was too strong for my liking.  I gave up on it and bought my favorite TRESemme hair spray.

TRESemme Mega Firm Control TRES Two Freeze Hair Spray - This is my go to hair spray. It gives good hold without making my hair too stiff.

Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray - I cheated with this one too.   I have been using Batiste for years and wanted to try a more high end dry shampoo.  This was a huge miss for me.  It seemed to have a reverse affect on my hair and made it more greasy rather then absorb oil.  

TRESemme Split End Sealing Serum - With just one use my hair felt as if I had just cut it.  I don't know if it neccesarily sealed any split ends, but my ends did feel so much more healthy.   

Sally Hansen Creme Hair Bleach - I have been using this since high school to bleach any unwanted hair. 

Up & Up Smoothing Shave Gel (similar) - This is the Up & Up version (Target brand) of the Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel.  This is my go to shaving gel as it has a nice light smell and really does help you have to shave less.  I have been using this for years and went from having to shave daily to having to shave just once or twice a week.  Most of the time, I have to look in the men's shaving aisle to find it.

Dove Go Fresh Cool Essentials Deodorant - I usually use Dove deodorants because I find them a bit gentler.  I also love anything cucumber scented.

Parissa Legs & Body Wax Strips - These are a great for easy and mess-free at home waxing. They come pre-stripped that you just warm in your hands.  I prefer the body strip so I can just cut them to any shape/size I need.

Disclaimer - All products mentioned were purchased by me.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Product Review: Own Refining Moisture Night Cream

Disclaimer:  Product sent for the purposed of review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

I was recently sent the Anti-Aging Refining Moisture Night Cream by Own Skin Care.  I didn't currently have a night cream in my skin care regimen so I was very excited to try this. 

Own is a San Francisco based skin-health company that believes in the holistic approach towards healthy skin. They believe that there are too many chemicals in our everyday lives and develop products that improve skin's overall health without the need for harsh chemicals. With less than 10 products in their product line, Own focuses on pure and effective anti-aging.

Own Refining Moisture Night Cream is said to hydrate and illuminate your skin nightly with a formula designed to fight all three causes of aging while you rest. It is free of retinol, parabens and sulfates. 

Own's Refining Moisture Night Cream contain Glycolic Acid, which I have been a little obsessed with lately.  Glycolic Acid is the most active and beneficial of the Alpha-Hydroxy-Acids (AHA).  It is used to improve the appearance of wrinkles and is found to be beneficial for the management of acne. So this was a win win for me.  

There is a lot that I like about this product.  It is not to thick and absorbs well into the skin.  In the morning my skin fells very smooth and soft.  I had used this every night for 2 weeks, then didn't use it at all for 2 days, and my skin was still softer than it ever has been.  I have also noticed a decrease in the fine lines that I had around my nose and cheeks and a significant improvement in my overall skin since using this product. 

The only negative thing I can say about this product at this point is about the packaging.  The texture of the jar is rubbery and similar to that of NARS.  If you have ever used a NARS product you know that material attracts and locks in any and all dust and partials that come in contact with it.

Own's Refining Moisture Night Cream retails for $24 and is available at Ulta locations nationwide or on Ulta's website.  

Disclaimer: Own Refining Moisture Night Cream was sent to me at no cost for the purpose of review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Lusts

Sunday Lusts 5.12.2013

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

1.  I don't have the iPhone 5 (yet) but considering it when I am eligible for an upgrade next month.  With a new phone, comes a new case, and I love this case from ADOPTED.

2. The Boscia BB Cream is by far my absolute favorite BB Cream that I have tried.  My only gripe about it is that it is a bit too dark for me (unless I have a tan), which is annoying because all other BB creams are too light.  I love that it comes in a lighter formula now.  

3 & 6.  I don't think I own anything from Coach.  I have just never really been to into it until lately.  I have really been loving the Legacy collection.  It is just so timeless and classic.  I think this tote would be a perfect tote for work and travel, while the iPad mini case is exactly what I have been looking for to use with a smart cover.

4.  It is gold and sequined.  What else can I say?

5. I love blazers for work, going out and just paired with jeans and ballet flats casually.  This drapey crepe jacket is perfect for Spring. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MIKOUX Silk Scarves

I was recently introduced to MIKOUX scarves by one of the brands cofounders.  I am a huge fan of scarves in general and love to wear them no matter the season, so I was delighted when I was contacted to receive a scarf for review.

In the Fall of 2011 MIKOUX was founded by husband and wife team.  The couple wanted to use their experience in fashion and design  to create their favorite accessory, scarves. The name MIKOUX reflects the founder's individual ethnic backgrounds and is a mix of European and Asian influences.

MIKOUX scarves are all 100% silk that are sourced and produced exclusively in Como, Italy. They use a combination of traditional methods, silk screen print, and the latest technologies in digital printing to provide the best print results of their original artwork. 
MIKOUX currently offers three design options; Gros bisous de MikouxEl Baile Flamenco, and La Vita è Bella.  All three are 100% Italian Silk and measure 47" x 47" (120cm x 120cm).  

The El Baile Flamenco and La Vita è Bella are both so colorful with many bright  and eye-catching colors; while the Gros bisous de Mikoux is a classic black and white design.  All three styles are so intricately patterned with very feminine designs that when wrapped around the neck, one might not even realize what they are looking at.

MIKOUK was kind enough to send me the El Baile Flamenco scarf.  I was extremely excited as I love all the different colors and fan motif. I also really love the guitars that are on one of the fans. It is so unexpected and a little edgy.

 The packaging alone was so nice.  I love getting pretty packages with bows so that was such a nice touch.  As this is a luxury scarf, the packaging was in line with other high end brands.

 The El Baile Flamenco is adorned with a 4 fan pattern.  Three of the four fans have a different design with the fourth fan plain.  The patterns include guitars, geishas and I believe the other (pictured on the bottom left) are dresses.

I really love all the colors that are used in this scarf.  The way they have incorporated so many different colors and made it all fit so well is absolutely stunning.  I am not sure if you can tell just how many colors are in this from the pictures.  There are different shades of orange, light blue, navy blue, purple, mint green, oxblood, yellow, white.  Every time I look at it I find another color.

I wore this to work last Friday and received so many compliments.  As it is already so colorful and full of design, I paired it with trouser jeans, a white tee and beige cardigan.  It felt so nice on my neck I didn't want to take it off.  I would probably wear it every day if I wasn't afraid of ruining it!

One of the things that I love to do, especially in the spring and summer, is tie a bright silk scarf to my purse.  It is one way to add a little flair to an otherwise casual outfit.

These scarves are 100% so they are very delicate and should be handled as such.  I keep mine folded in the box when not using it. 

MIKOUX silk scarves are available at the official website www.Mikoux.com and select retailers.

Disclaimer:  While the MIKOUX scarf was sent to me at no charge for the purpose of review, all opinions expressed are my own.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Korean Cosmetic Haul

I am always intrigued with products available in other countries.  I am particularly obsessed with both UK and Korean beauty products.  Korean products have really taken over the blogosphere lately, and there has been a couple of products that I have been obsessed with and really wanted to try.  Luckily Amazon sells just about everything so I was able to order a few of the products.

There were two products in particular that I really want to try; the TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bars and the Etude House Etoinette Heart Blusher.  I then ordered the Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher.  

I am not going to lie.  I wanted the Etoinette Heart Blusher because the packaging is just so cute and very girly.  And while the packaging is just plastic, it reminds me of an old vintage blusher.  

There were two colors available on amazon, coral masquerade and pink kiss.  I tend to use more coral colors in warmer months, so I got that.  Etude also makes a heart highlighter in the same packaging and a crystal powder in a similar white packaging.  

I don't find this to be too pigmented.  I am not sure I could wear it as a true blush.  It does have a gorgeous sheen to it, so I have been using it more as a highlighter on the tops of my cheeks; however it is pigmented enough that I can't use it to highlight my nose or cupid's bow.   

I wasn't going to buy the Etude House Lovely Cookie Blusher because I don't really need another pink blush, or any blush of that matter, but the packaging got me again and I just had to have it.  The seller I bought from (which I'll mention below) had a number of colors available. I got Raspberry Tarte

I really love bright pink blush.  I tend to wear pink more in the winter but this color was just so gorgeous not to pass up.  It was surprised at how pigmented this is.  I have been using it daily and just need a very light hand.  

I have seen the TONYMOLY Petite Bunny Gloss Bars on so may different beauty blogs.  Again, the packaging is adorable! They come in a ton of different colors.  I got one in juicy apple and one in juicy peach.  

I didn't know what to expect with these, but they are really quite nice. The product itself has the consistency of a lipstick at first but when you apply it is kind of feels more between a gloss and a balm.  They not at very hydrating, but give a really great color without being too pigmented for the day.

The seller I bought from included a ton of samples with my order.  I haven't been able to try any yet, but I am excited to research what they do (the descriptions are not in English) and give them a try.  

I order from A-Poly on Amazon.  They had all the products that I wanted to try and their prices were in line with other sellers. I believe they ship from Korea, and shipping was on the pricer side, but that was because it was an international shipment.  They quoted 17-30 days for my delivery but I got it exactly 2 weeks later.  

Disclaimer:  All products mentioned were purchased by me and all opinions expressed are my own.  This post contains no affiliate links.