New Goodies Part 2: April Glossybox

Now, I know. I need more makeup and skincare products like I need a hole in my head…but I have resisted the siren call of Glossybox long enough!

I couldn’t decide if I wanted it, and went back and forth over if it was worth it. I have quite an arsenal of products as it is from working so long in the industry (and being a beauty junkie as well, naturally!)

But hey, it never hurts to try out some new things, right?

So, I finally placed my order and waited anxiously for it to arrive. I hoped I would be happy.

First, let’s discuss how beautiful the packaging is. It’s like you’re getting a lovely gift!

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Fancy, right? So pretty! And the goodies:

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So, you get 5 goodies in your Glossybox, and most of them are full sized. I got a Ciate paint pot in Beach Hut, LaSplash Eye Shadow Primer, a Bellapierre lip gloss in Vanilla Kiss, a Caldrea body wash in Coconut Fig Leaf, and a body creme from Aqua Spa in Lavender Chamomile.

I’ve spoken about Ciate products before, and I love their kits. This polish is a pretty, shimmery orange. It’s pretty sheer, but glossy (see what I did there? ;D ) This swatch is three coats of color, no top coat:

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Lovely for summer (It’s spring, but I don’t know that the weather is aware as yet…)

The body wash and body creme smells so good! OMG! That is a long weekend kind of body wash; one where you linger in the shower for a while and enjoy the aroma wafting about. The body creme is one where you relax and massage it in (as opposed to slapping it on quickly ’cause you’re about to be late. Not that I know anything about that.)

I haven’t used the shadow primer, but I notice that, in putting a bit on my hand, that it’s sticky. The info card says it’s good for glitter, so I’ll have to remember that when I’m doing a glitter heavy eye look.

The lip gloss I wore in last week’s Update post:

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It’s a lovely neutral, not too glossy, but still moisturizing. Very good with bright eye looks that even a too pink gloss could detract from. It looks a bit similar to Kitten from Stila on me, but Kitten is way more gold (That’s what I wore for my birthday look.)

I have to admit, Glossybox was worth it. Can’t wait to see what May brings!

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Makeup Looks Reviews

New Goodies: April Curlbox Review

So, I have been expanding the different subscription boxes that I get. I’ve told y’all how much I love Julep before, and I thought…why not hair stuff? There’s got to be a box for that, right?

A quick Google search lead me to CurlBox. They didn’t have any subscriptions available at the time, but I joined their mailing list.

And the wait begun. Every time new subscriptions were up for grabs, I was at work and couldn’t take advantage (it normally opened at 3pm on Saturday…and would be gone in less than two hours.)

Finally, the scheduling gods intervened and I was able to sign up for my box!

And when I got my first box, I was not disappointed.

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What you see here is a box full of full sized Pantene products. The companies switch by month (I missed the Carol’s Daughter one by a month!), so you get to experience a wide range of products.

Here’s what’s in there: Argan Oil shine serum, Curls Mousse, Heat Protection Spray, KeraGloss Oil Mist, 2 Minute Moisture Mask, and Define My Curls Custard.

So far, I have tried all but the mousse and the heat protection spray, and I love them. The Define My Curls Custard really does give each curl definition and shine, and it doesn’t dry crunchy. The shine serum gave my afro puff shine, and the oil mist was very moisturizing. I left the 2 minute moisture mask on for longer than 2 minutes, and it was very nourishing. You could totally get away with 2 minutes for a wash and go.

In fact, I used all of the Pantene products for my birthday updo.

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All in all, totally worth the wait for the box and the $25 (includes shipping!) that I paid for it.

Can’t wait for the next one!

Hair Reviews

Nail Polish Tuesday: Ciate Flower Manicure Set

Hey folks! I am back on the manicure horse with a new nail look this week.

Nails of Literature isn’t gone, by the way. It just won’t be every week. 🙂

So, while I was out shopping in Sephora, I came across this Ciate kit. Now, I should have been wary of this kit, because the first one I tried led to such a fail (and it was the first nail look I shared on my Tumblr!)

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Good grief. Those were supposed to be polka dots. Yes, yes. That was the goal. Don’t rub it in! 🙂

But because I don’t know how to leave well enough alone the FIRST time it goes south, I decided to give it another go. This kit is called Flower Manicure, and it seemed simple enough. Nail polish, flowers, topcoat. File to fit. Ok. I can do this…right?

This comes in two colors, a blue base with red and dark blue flowers, or a pink base with blue and yellow flowers. The pink, blue, and yellow combo is one of my favorites to do with clothes, so I picked that kit. You get a small paint pot, large top coat, two sets of flowers in different colors, a file, and tweezers. Also an instruction book. Good.

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As I did the first time, I read the directions. Two coats of color, let dry. Put top coat, add flower(s) to nail, let dry (work one nail at a time, duly noted). File flowers off of the edges of the nail (if you do the overlapping look), add more top coat. Yeah, I can totally do this…I think. The pink shade, by the way, is called Candy Floss. The rhinestones didn’t come in the kit. I just always need a little sparkle in my life.

So, how did I do?

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Success! I would probably recommend doing this look on longer nails, so you can get better overlap, but I love it. I did the yellow and white flowers on eight nails, and I did blue flowers on both ring fingers. And because I love shiny things, I put a couple of green rhinestones on there too.

This actually was pretty easy. Work with one nail at a time, because the quick dry topcoat is no joke. It dries pretty quickly, and you will find yourself having to reapply coats if you don’t move with a purpose.

I am so glad I didn’t have to do another failed manicure post this week. 🙂

Nail Adventures Reviews Uncategorized

A Tale of Three Lipsticks

I normally stick to neutral lip gloss for my day to day looks, because at work most customers’ emphasis is on eye shadows.

So I’ll play up my eyes, and downplay the lips.

I’ve grown tired of that look for day to day, but it works for work. Since I had the last four days off, though, I went to put on some crayon colored lipstick before I went out…and couldn’t find any.

What? How does this happen?!

I had browns, my go to red, but nothing with some pizzazz. I have the BH Cosmetics 66 Lip Gloss palette and it’s awesome, but I wanted brighter. Like liquid Skittles.

So of course that means…shopping! 😀 I’ll look for just about any excuse, really.

So I shopped and shopped, hit up Macy’s and Ulta, came home, and spread out my spoils.

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*sigh* Why do I do this?!

What you see here are three very similar colors. Granted, all three have very different finishes, but I probably could have gotten away with one and used some gloss or powder to come up with the other two looks.

But I’m not taking them back. Because, I really need all three, you see. 🙂

So, first up: the color in the shiny gold tube. I found this when I went to get some shampoo and came out with this lipstick as an addition. This is called Violet Volt by Milani. Creamy, shiny, and it has shimmer in it. If you are not a fan of the frosted, it is not for you. Here it is on me:

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Next color in the neon colored tube is called Brazen Berry from Maybelline. I actually found this two minutes after I got home while digging for my phone in my purse. It’s a replacement tube–I lost the first one I bought. Had I found this beforehand I probably wouldn’t be in this dilemma. Now this one is glossy, but has no shimmer:

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Often when I wear Hot Plum, it’s mistaken for this third color, clad in the iconic black packaging: Heroin by MAC. Here’s the thing. I don’t normally do matte lipsticks because they make my lips drier than they normally are. But I put this on and OMG. I didn’t even do a gloss after it…which is odd for me. But it works:

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So, from a makeup artist to you,my wonderful readers if you have a lipstick at home that you love, but you see a similar one…okay, go buy it if you want. 🙂 But if you want to save a dollar, here’s how you spruce the one you have up easily.

If you want it frosted (glitter), add a sparkly gloss to it. You can do it with or without color, as the look you’re going for dictates. If you want it matte, tap (sparingly!) a little bit of translucent powder over the top of your lips. This will give you matte without having to search for matte colors.

Sidebar: if there was a way to do a matte gloss like they do a matte topcoat for nails, companies would make a killing. Just sayin’.

And of course, if it’s matte and you want it shiny, do a glitter free gloss over the top. Simple!

Or, you could do what I end up doing…buying the same color in three different finishes accidentally (maybe on purpose? *shifty eyes*)…and keeping them. Whichever works. No judgment here! 🙂

Makeup Looks Retail Therapy Reviews Stories

Nourishing My Crowning Glory

I often get asked about what I put in my hair.

The answer to that question is as varied as this New York weather.

Seriously. Can you pick a season, Mother Nature? Please?

Ahem. Sorry.

Anyway.

Generally, what I put in my hair depends on the season and what style it happens to be in. Most of the time, I use Carol’s Daughter products (CD). I love the Black Vanilla line for my eternally thirsty hair, and the Rosemary Mint Shampoo (no link; it’s going away. 😦 )for my eternally flaky scalp.

Even though CD is available in Target these days, it’s still sometimes out of my way to go and pick it up. So, I like to mix it up and try other products when I need something new.

Ok, maybe it’s just because I love how many products are coming out for natural hair, and I want to try all of the things. Eh, tomato, tomahto.

A few faves:

Nene’s Secret: I found this randomly in a beauty supply store and fell in love with the CC (that’s Curly and Cute) Curl Creme. My hair was so soft and hydrated. Before I could try the whole line, it disappeared from the store. (Of course it did. -_-) I’ll probably have to order it online.

Optimum Care Amla Oil: I tried this after a coworker recommended it to me. I do love the hydration, but it doesn’t give me as much definition as Nene’s Secret does. Still, it smells lovely, and is normally available in your local drugstore.

As I Am: I am in LOVE with their DoubleButter Cream. I found this in the Walgreens when I went to get shampoo, and decided to give it a try. If you have desert dry hair, you are going to LOVE this.

Creme of Nature Argan Oil Line: So, this was the shampoo I purchased on the aforementioned Walgreens run. I tend to be wary of argan oil products, because of how unscented (as in, raw, 100% natural) argan oil smells. It smells like…feet. Yeah. I know. If you’re using argan oil that smells delicious, it ain’t 100% natural. Just an FYI. Now this has enough fragrance in it to keep me from thinking “ew” but not so much the benefits of the oil are drowned out. I have the Moisture and Shine Shampoo and picked up a packet of the Intensive Treatment (amazing!)

As far as care? I don’t wash my hair more than twice a week in the summer and once every two weeks in the winter.  I have dry hair and flaky scalp, and washing it all the time would make it worse. I use sulfate free shampoos when possible (not doing so makes my hair that much drier.) I always deep condition my hair, and do a leave in conditioner afterwards to keep it strong.

I braid or twist my hair up before bed (usually just 5-6 big braids) and tie up with a satin scarf.

I always use a leave in conditioning spray (try the Black Vanilla one from CD; for my DIY mavens, put leave in conditioner and water in an old spray bottle and shake. Works just as well.) before I comb it out. I put a moisturizing cream on the ends, and oil at the scalp. Rub through and pick it out. It seems like a lot, but it helps with detangling so you don’t lose as much hair when you comb.

All of this work leads me to some good hair days. Look! I have my hair completely out!

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I’m still trying to push my limits. I’m considering wearing my hair free for my birthday dinner next week. What do y’all think? I’m taking style suggestions and product recommendations!

Hair Reviews Shopping Uncategorized

Fatshion Friday: Getting Crafty

I am someone who almost always has to alter her clothes. I’ll convert long sleeves into cap sleeves and raise or lower a hemline to make a piece work.

Last night, I actually took a piece from start to finish.

Darby Smart is a company that, like Birchbox or Ipsy, has a subscription service where you can create…well, anything really. Some of their past boxes included a light up sign and cupcake toppers.

I happened to browse their site a couple of weeks ago and picked up a couple of boxes (you can get boxes without the subscription) to try. One of them was for a clear clutch.

I’ve been seeing clear, sparkly clutches a lot, but they were either a) not my style or b) way too expensive. But, for $39, I could create my own.

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So, the kit came with the clutch, adhesive, a strap, Swarovski crystals, and a sponge applicator. I purchased the studs as an add-on, just because I wanted a combo of tough and glitter. Putting together my design was fun; like playing a combo of Bejeweled and Tetris. Here’s the result:

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This project was so much fun! I did all of the crystals on the front so as to minimize the risk of them catching on whatever fabric I was wearing, and did studs across the top and sides. I have to let this dry for 24 hours, so I have time to plan an outfit to wear this with.

I have one more box to craft, but I am already looking for yet another project to do. The wood burning kit is calling my name!

Crafting Reviews Shopping

Nail Adventures: Julep Mystery Box

Because I don’t seem to have enough nail polish in my collection (insert massive sigh), I decided to add on even more with the February Julep Mystery Box.

You were able to pick between three boxes this month. One focused for manicures, one for pedicures, and one for facials (I think? I don’t quite remember). You could get one or all three!

Y’all think I bought all three, don’t y’all?

I didn’t. I can exercise some restraint! 😀

I actually went for Aphrodite, which was the box for pedicures. Here in the frozen north, it isn’t anywhere near time for flip flops or sandals or anything but fuzzy socks and boots, but I really want to do my toes and treat myself.

Enough talk. On to the pictures!

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So, what you see there is a combo of the box, Cupid’s Add on, and Rosa, the February Birthstone Polish. Close up swatches:

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Mint Condition Pedi Creme. New item for me, so I can’t wait to try. I also got the DoubleStep friction stick (repeat from past boxes but I love it so much I don’t care!) and a new foot file. I was actually going to get myself a new one, so, score!

Polishes:

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From left to right: Claudette (orange-red creme), Aphrodite (pink with silver shimmer), and Karen (pale shimmery orange)

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From left to right: Stefani (silver creme with gold glitter), Kennedy (yellow-beige creme), and Angela (teal metallic creme).

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And finally, the February birthstone polish. February’s birthstone is amethyst, and this is an amethyst glitter named Rosa.

Karen is a duplicate from one of my first boxes I got, but it’s so pretty I know my bestie will love it. Rosa I picked up because it’s named for Rosa Parks, who was born in February. Honestly, I was a bit underwhelmed with the color selection this month (it’s a bit more neutral than I prefer), but Aphrodite is really pretty and Rosa is pretty high coverage glitter. Love! Can’t wait to take it for a test drive!

In all? Seven new polishes, plus a foot creme and file. My feet will be sandal ready, even if the weather isn’t!

But seriously, can we give it a rest with the snow? It’s enough now. 🙂

Nail Adventures Retail Therapy Reviews