Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge

I have been a loyal user of the Beauty Blender for years.  When it comes to make-up application, it has been my preferred sponge.  Better than a brush, the Beauty Blender helps to provide great coverage with a flawless finish.  With a $20 price tag, I am always looking for a less expensive alternative but have yet to fine one that compares to the Beauty Blender, until now.  Enter Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge . . .

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge may appear as a dupe for the Beauty Blender, but it is actually quite different.  For one, the RT sponge takes a slightly different shape.  Rather then the typically egg shape most blending sponge have, the RT sponge is flat on one side. I find this to be helpful when applying foundation to my cheeks and forehead or when I am blending out my concealer.  It still has a round tip on the opposite end, which makes it great for getting into the corner of your nose or blending out under your eyes.

The density of the Real Techniques sponge is also quite different.  It is allot denser and has more of a "memory foam" like texture.  Because of that I find that I have to wet it a bit more before use and it sucks in a lot more product.  I find myself having to clean it allot more because of this, and within about a week of use, you can really feel the product buildup in the sponge.  For this reason, I feel like I will need to replace it a lot sooner than the Beauty Blender, but at $6 a sponge (compared to $20 for the BB) you kind of don't mind.

Overall, I do feel like I get a similar finish with the Real Technique sponge compared to the Beauty Blender.  Because of the density, it is a tad heavier, which I find makes to easier to work with.  It did take some adjustment at first, going a little lighter handed when applying the actual product to the sponge to make sure it doesn't soak up too much excess.  Even with doing that, it does hold a lot of product and moisture as I already mentioned

The Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge retails for $5.99 and can be purchased in the US at Ulta stores or Ulta.com.

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Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.  The items mentioned in this post were purchased by me with my own funds.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday Lusts

I am addicted to Amazon.com.  I probably place an order at least once a week.  You can find almost anything on Amazon so I like to browse the various departments or look for hard to find items.  And because I am an Amazon Prime member I can get free 2 day shipping on most items, which is perfect for someone like me who wants everything instantly!

While I don't use the "wish list" feature on Amazon, I am constantly adding things to my shopping cart, then saving them for later.  I currently have 3 pages of items "saved for later."  

Here are some of the top items in my shopping cart . . . 

"Places We Love" Russian Silver Boston IIBangle, Alex and Ani - I am a little late to the party with Alex and Ani bracelets.  I received one for Christmas and have since bought 2 others.  All mine so far are Russian gold, so I really want a silver because I love mixed metals.

Volcano Diffuser, Capri Blue - I am pretty certain I have raved about Capri Blue candles in the past, particularly the volcano scent which is my absolute favorite candle scent in the world.  I really love reed diffusers for areas in the house where I don't want to leave a candle burning.  I also love to use them in my office.

GojiTarocco Orange Glass Scalloped Edge Candle, Voluspa - Voluspa candles are another favorite of mine.  I love blood orange scents, so this one is right up there for me.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and LiveWell,
Deborah Needleman - I love big pretty coffee table books.  I bought Domino: The Book of Decorating by Deborah Needleman a couple months back so this would be a great addition to that.

Things We Love: Twenty Years of Inspiration, Intriguing Bits and Other Curiosities, Kate Spade New York - I loved Kate Spade since high school when I first discovered the Sam bag on an episode of Oprah.  Twenty Years later the brand has evolved into a global lifestyle brand.  This book would be such a great keepsake for any Kate Spade fan.

Deep SleepPillow Spray, This Works - I have this in my shopping cart not for me, but for my sister.  I heard of it from one of Lilly Pebbles videos.  I'm pretty sure it is a UK brand, but the amazing thing about Amazon is that you can find so many products that are not otherwise available in the US.

One Heck Of A Blot Super Translucent Mattifying PowderGlow All Out, &  Love At First Blush, Soap & Glory - Soap & Glory has some a lot more products in other parts of the world than what is available in the US.  I have heard raze reviews about their mattifying powder, but why stop their when they also make a illuminizer and blush.

Bobbi BrownMakeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro, Bobbie Brown - This is a staple for any beauty enthusiast.

Nail PaintNo. 273 Raspberry, &  Nail PaintNo. 341 Cappuccino, Barry M - Barry M is another brand not available in the US but that can be purchased through Amazon.  I have been dying to get my hands on one for years.

Glitter Coaster Set, Kate Spade

Wrapables Decorative Patterns Masking Sticker Set - Kristina of PrettyShiny Sparkly had these in a office supply haul this past fall.  When she said she got them on Amazon, I had to immediately look them up and add them in the cart.

Locklyn Wedge Pump, Report - Wedges are the only heels I have been wearing lately.  I already have these in maroon and find them super comfortable so naturally I need to get them in black.

If you don't already have an Amazon Prime membership, you can sign up at www.Amazon.com/prime.  Prime membership costs $79 a year and includes free 2 days shipping on millions of items, unlimited instant streaming of 41,000 movies and television shows, and over 350,000 Kindle titles to borrow for free.

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Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  While I am not being compensated for the content of this post, this post does include affiliate links which may result in compensation if products are purchased directly from the link.  

Monday, January 20, 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Crown Brushes

Disclaimer: Product sent to me for the purpose of review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

I am always looking for portable products and was in need of a set of travel cosmetic brushes when I received a set of the Crown 6 piece HD Cosmetic Brush Set.  I never owned any Crown Brushes so I was very excited and eager to try them.  

This set includes 6 brushes; Pro Powder, Tapered Blush, Deluxe Contour, Crease Blender, Chisel Shadow, and Detail Liner.  The brushes, along with a set of tweezers, come in a zipper case with a mirror on one side.  All the brushes are vegan friendly and are made of a high grade synthetic fiber.

The Crown 6 piece HD Cosmetic Brush Set comes in four colors; purple, orange, white and new for 2014; red.   I received the white set.

I was quite surprised by the quality of these brushes.  They are a lot less expensive than some of the other brands out there so I wasn't expecting much, but was really impressed.

While they come in a convenient travel/carrying case they are all full size brushes.  The handle is strong and the fibers really soft and dense.  I did not experience any shedding during use and they held and disbursed product well.  I did not use the tweezers, but they feel pretty sharp.  The case itself has a very generously sized mirror.

I would definitely recommend this set for anyone looking for an easy set to travel with, an inexpensive starter kit, or to add a few new pieces to their collection.  I know I will definitely be purchasing a few new brushes from Crown very soon!

The 6 piece HD Cosmetic Brush set can be purchased on Crown's website here for $27.95.

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Disclaimer: While this product was sent to me at no cost for the purpose of review, all opinions expressed are my own.  

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday Lusts

Sunday Lusts

Aria Facial Sonic Cleansing Brush, Clarisonic - After two years my Clarisonic Mia stopped working earlier this month.  I loved my Mia but ready to upgrade to the Aria.

Emma Pencil Pouch, Kate Spade - I am obsessed with the Kate Spade book clutches but they are way out of my price range for a clutch so I will settle for this super cute case.  It will be perfect to keep in my work/laptop bag.

Canvas Classics, TOMS - I get so much use out of my TOMS and really want a gray pair.

Peony & Blush Scented Candle, Jo Malone - I received a bottle of this perfume for Christmas and it may just be one of my favorite scents.  It smells amazing

Metallic Gold Tieks

Rose Lip Conditioner, AERIN Beauty

Soothing Cleansing Oil, Bobbie Brown

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Eve Lom Kiss Mix

It is impossible for me to buy gifts for anyone without picking up something for myself.  So last month when I was buying product to fill a Christmas stocking for my sister, I ended up getting myself duplicates of most of the items.  One of those products was Eve Lom's Kiss Mix.  

I am always looking to try new lip balms.  My lips gets super dry and I find a lot of balms just dry me out even more when used regularly.  Because of this, balms usually end up being a trial and error for me, but when I find a product that gives me both instant and long lastly relief it is gold.

I first heard of Eve Lom for their cleansing balm, which is said to be among the best.  While I haven't been able to justify the balm's $80 price tag, I did recently try their Dynaspot spot treatment and really enjoyed it.  When I found Kiss Mix on Space.NK's website, I figured I would give it a shot.  

At first I didn't know if I would like this product.  It was a smidge difficult to get enough product on my finger to apply to my lips.  After some warming, it did soften up, however you don't really need too much product to do the job.

I can only describe the texture as the gooey melted mint that you find inside a Junior Mint.  However, its not the least bit sticky and just melts into your lips leaving them soft.  Unlike a lot of other lip balms, I find myself only needing to apply this about once a day.

This is probably one of the better lip balms that I have used.  Like I mentioned, I only need to apply it once  day and it leaves my lips soft and moisturized.  I have used it for about a month now and have not experienced any drying.  

Kiss Mix contains Zinc oxide, which is a natural sunscreen and encourages healing.  It also contains menthol which gives your lips a cooling/tingly feeling. 

Eve Lom Kiss Mix retails for $22 for .24 fl oz jar.  Space.NK is currently selling the Kiss Mix Star on their website for just $11! It is the same size jar, but packaged in a gold star for the holidays.  Because it is holiday packaging, I am not sure how fast it will sell out, but I know I am going to stock up! (If you want the reduced price/sale product, make sure your purchase the Kiss Mix Star and not the regular Kiss Mix.)

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Disclaimer: The product listed was purchased  by me with my own money.  I am not being compensated for mention of any of the product(s) mentioned in this post.  All the opinions expressed are my own.   

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Empties #5

My empties have been building up for quite a while now.  It's been over 2 months since my last empties post, so you can imagine just how many empty products I have laying around.  I am pleased with just how many products that I have used up in 2013.  I never thought I would just past ten, but as I said before, I get slightly excited every time a new empty enters my used up basket. 

Since I have so many empties to share with you, lets jump right in . . . 

1. Neroli Clementine Body Butter, MOR Cosmetics - I mentioned this body butter in a previous favorites post.  This left my skin feeling soft and it smells SO GOOD! MOR Cosmetics was on clearance at Ulta over the summer/fall as it is not currently being distributed in the US anymore.  I snatched up three of these when I could find them.

2.  Hand and Cuticle Peptide Stick, Julep - I received this in a Julep Maven Box forever ago. It's a waxy stick that moisturizes your hands and cuticles.  It smelled nice and was convenient to throw in my bag without worrying about any messes.  It also didn't leave my hands super greasy like some lotions can., but I do prefer an all over hand lotion for my hands.  

3. Flora by Gucci, Gorgeous Gardenia - I really enjoyed his perfume.  I think I may repurchase sometime down the road.  It is a sweet florally scent, which I love.

4. Pink Sugar Sensual Eau De Toilet Spray, Aquolina - I absolutely LOVED the original Pink Sugar and wore it non-stop about 10 or so years ago.  When I had a reward certificate from Ulta for a free perfume, I thought I would give this slightly more mature version a try.  It's a lot like the original but just a little more grown up.

5. Dove Go Sleeveless Antiperspirant - I am really not picky with it comes to deodorant or antiperspirant.  I usually go for Dove because I find them a little gentler on my skin and they are not super fragrant. 

6. Clear Care Cleaning & Disinfecting Solution - I have been using this for year to clean and disinfect my contact lenses.  It is the only all-in-one solution my eye doctor recommends so I use it.  I prefer to buy the smaller travel size because it comes with a cleansing cup and forces me to switch it out more regularly. 

7. Dove Solid Visibly Smooth Deodorant - Again, I'm not picky and find Dove to work so I stick with it.  

8. Healing Therapy Foot Cream, Gold Bond Ultimate - I think I have mentioned this product before.  I find the healing therapy foot cream and the softening foot cream with shea butter to work similarly and will buy either product.  It is very softening and moisturizing.  

9. Evian Mineral Water Spray - I have been using these water sprays to moisten my beauty blender.  Its convenient instead of having to run to the bathroom sink to wet my sponge and because it is mineral water, I feel like I am getting some added benefits for my skin over tap water.

10. Clarisonic Acne Brush Head - I can not live without my Clarisonic.  Because I have acne prone skin, I usually alternate between the acne brush and the deep pore brush.

11. Drying Cream, Mario Badescu - This is probably one of the better drying creams/solutions that I have used.  I use it as a spot treatment over night and pimples are practically erased overnight. 

12. Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer, Juice Beauty - This rich formula is said to penetrate the skin to repair DNA damage and encourage new cell growth. Whether I have a dry spot, or blemishes, or just redness, I do feel like this just kind of eliminates all those imperfections and allows my skin to heal itself. My only complaint is that the pump tends to get clogged a bit. 

13. Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser, Suki - I received this in a Birchbox at some point and recently pulled it out.  I loved the smell and the texture was great.  While it did exfoliate it wasn't too gritty or harsh, and I really liked how to foamed to a cleanser.

14. Evian Mineral Water Spray

15. Bioderma Crealine H2O Solution Micellaire Peaux Sensibles - After hearing all the hype about this on various blogs and Youtube, I thought I would give it a try.  While its not available in the US, you can purchase it on Amazon.  It is a little pricy for a cleansing water, but it does remove all traces of makeup or does the job on those lazy nights when I really just want a fix cleanse and fall into bed.  I have already repurchased since, however I bought the combination/oily formula.

16. TRESemme Tres Two Hair Spray Freeze Hold - If you have been following my blog for a while, you know this is my go to hairspray.  It holds my hair without leaving it crunchy or gross.

17. Original Dry Shampoo, Batiste - I have probably gone through hundreds of cans of Batiste over the years. I'm not super picky about the scent, and will usually grab whatever they have, although I do prefer the Blush or Brit scents.  

18. Pronto Texture & Volume Spray, Oscar Blandi - I bought this in a set along with the Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Shampoo.  While I absolutely hated the dry shampoo, I loved this texturizing spray to give my hair a little oomph.  

19. Blush Dry Shampoo, Batiste

20. Blush Travel Size Dry Shampoo, Batiste

21. John Frieda Root Awakening Hydrate + Nourish Conditioner - I have a super sensitive scalp so I like to use something at least once a week that is going to treat and sooth my scalp.  While I don't put conditioner directly on my scalp or roots, this complimented the Organix Teatree mint shampoo well. 

22. Clear Scalp & Hair Therapy Nourishing Daily Conditioner, Damage & Color Repair - This is another product I bought for my scalp, along with the shampoo of the same.  Not only did this help keep my scalp free from irritation but is also preserved my hair color so it was a win/win.

23. Organix Luxurious Moroccan Argan Creme Sheer Opulence Masque - This is okay.  I didn't love it as much as Aussie's 3-Minute Miracle, so I will probably just keep repurchasing  Aussie's masque.

24.  Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deeeeep Conditioner - I have been using this since grade school.  It is a product that my mother used to use and would steal from her.  It is a great weekly treatment to keep your hair soft and moisturized.

25. Organix Hydrating Teatree Mint Shampoo - I liked that this was organic so it didn't have  as many chemicals as other scalp treatments.  It was a little drying, but using a good conditioner and hair masque combated that.  

26. Restore Shampoo & Conditioner, Living Proof - This was a small sample that I received in a Sephora Beauty Insider Perk. It was nice and lasted a couple washes; I just wasn't wowed by it.  It is targeted for dry and damaged hair, yet I didn't find it to do much in terms of moisturizing.  

27. OPI Avoplex Exfoliating Cuticle Treatment - My sister gave me this for Christmas last year along with the best cuticle pusher in existence.  The combination is AMAZING at eliminating overgrown cuticles.  I like this treatment so much, I cut the bottle to scrape out every last bit, which gave me a ton more product,

28. Pore Filler, NYX - This is my second tube of this. It is super cheap and fills in any enlarged pores before applying make-up.

29.  Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in EggplantMaybelline - I prefer purple toned eyeliner over black.  I think it makes my brown eyes pop and gives me a little bit of color.  I liked this and used it daily for a couple months until it dried out.

30. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer - I'm not sure they still make this double sided brow pencil/gel.  It was a brow pencil on one side, and a clear gel on the other.  Both sides work well. I have actually repurchased the full size pencil.  The brow gel doesn't work any better than a clear drug store mascara/gel, but does to the job.  It was convenient to have both products in one.  

31. 'Sumptuous Extreme Waterproof' Lash Multiplying Volume MascaraEstée Lauder  - This is one of my most favorite mascaras (it may just be my absolute favorite!)  It gives great length and volume.  I don't typically like waterproof mascara because I find it to be a little too wet, but this wasn't bad.  I will probably repurchase the non-waterproof version.

32. BADgal Plum Mascara, Benefit Cosmetics - BADgal mascara was one of the first high end mascaras I ever used.  I had been lusting after this plum version forever before cracking and buying it.  It is the perfect plum color to give your eyes a pop without the color being too noticeable. 

33. Light Reflecting Loose Setting Powder, NARS - This works great for setting my make-up and keeping my face matte all day.  My only problem with it is that it has a kind of odd smell. At first I could get past it, but then it started to get to be a little too much, especially when I started smelling it in the middle of the day.

34. Mineral Pressed Powder, Laura Mercier - I bought this to use on the go when I was using Laura Mercier's Mineral Powder.  It was a nice compliment to the mineral make-up.  

35. Garnier BB Cream Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector - I have a problem with most BB's creams either being too light or oxidizing on my face.  This is the perfect tone for me and doesn't oxidize mid-day.  It also gives me good coverage.

36. Neosporin Lip Health Overnight Renewal Therapy - My lips get really dry in the winter and a lot of balms seem to just make them drier (EOS, I'm talking to you!)  This has a nice cream texture that soaks into my lips and keeps them healthy. 

37.  Ivory Body Wash - I loved this wash at first.  It was very nostalgic for me and lathered well.  It did, however, tend to leave a film on my skin if I used even the smallest amount too much.

38. Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel - This is my go-to shaving gel.  It lathers well and really does slow down hair growth.  

39. VS Fantasies Hello Darling Daily Body Wash (similar) - I think this particular scent may be discontinued but the VS Fantasies body wash in general smells great, lathers well and rinses completely.  You can usually get like 5 of them for about $30.

40. Completely Bare Hypo-Allergenic Wax Strips - I mentioned these in my last empties post.  I like them better than any other drug-store wax strip kit. 

41. Wet Ones Wipes, Sensitive - I like to keep a tub of these in my vanity.  As I mentioned before, they are great at cleaning up make-up and spot cleaning brushed.

42. Cotton Rounds (Various Brands) - I prefer these to cotton balls. 

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