Elizabeth & James Nirvana Perfume Review

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First off, can we talk about the beautiful packaging? Seriously. I fell in love when I saw the full sized bottle on a few blogs and in Sephora. After contemplating buying the perfume for just the bottle, I decided to buy a sample size of the scent to see if it was something I would wear. The sample also came with the black scent so I could try that out as well.

And I ended up loving them both. Continue reading “Elizabeth & James Nirvana Perfume Review”

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BODY SHOP HAUL- FALL EDITION

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I’m in love with The Body Shop. So many great products made with awesome ingredients!

The person that introduced me to The Body Shop products is none other than my favorite beauty-blogger, Essiebutton. If you haven’t heard of her, you are seriously missing out. Seriously. I want to be her best friend. Whenever she has her monthly favorites video on YouTube, I always write down what she recommends for a potential future purchase. Then, as luck would have it, The Body Shop emailed me introducing their buy three get three free sale going on this past weekend and I knew I couldn’t resist. I got out my list of items from The Body Shop I really wanted to try and got six new products I can’t wait to put on my face- plus two free samples, which was pretty amazing.

Last time I bought items from their website I got a grapefruit mini body butter to try out- and I loved it. So I thought I would try the bigger version in a smell that is so amazing and unique- satsuma. Citrus-y orange-y goodness. It will be perfect to keep my skin hydrated during the cooler months ahead. Seriously, this stuff does wonders.

The Colour Crush Shine Lipsticks are their sheer lipsticks, and it’s a nice product for people (like me) who are just starting to dip their feet into lipsticks. They are sheer enough to not look super bright, but add a tint of color whilst being moisturizing and leave a nice rose scent. I’d like to try a nude shade or something more fall-like in color. I also would love to swatch their other types of lip products in a Body Shop store at some point, there just isn’t one in my city. *SIGH*

I’m also excited to try out these two BB creams. I tested out the Vitamin E version in a Body Shop store when I was in Florida a few months ago and I was amazed how it matched anyone’s coloring. I have yet to try either one of these yet (I’ve been on a no-foundation kick lately) but when I do I will let you know- perhaps I’ll do a BB cream comparison post in the coming months…hint hint.

The tea tree creamy wash- oh, man. Words cannot describe how life-changing this stuff is, and my skin absolutely loves it. It has a bit of a cooling effect when applied and after washing it off my pores seem clear and my skin is  all glowy and happy. I use this every other day, and I seriously can’t wait to try other products in this range.

What are your favorite things from The Body Shop?

And lastly, I’ll leave you with an autumn picture I couldn’t help but snap while I was outside taking pictures of these products. And people wonder why I have a burnt orange car- because these colors are the best!

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As always, please follow me on Instagram & Twitter to keep up with what I’m up doing!

 

BRAND FOCUS: TARTE COSMETICS

I would consider myself new to the beauty world, but one brand that I see and hear many beauty gurus out there recommend is Tarte. Of course I had to see what the fuss was about, so when my Wet ‘n Wild mascara had coated its last lash (RIP) I decided to head to my nearest Sephora and try out Tarte’s Lights Camera Lashes mascara. Let me just say, this experience changed my life and Tarte is now one of my favorite brands. Here’s my current Tarte collection which is sure to grow in the near future!

IMG_4230 These five products are my holy grail. Seriously can’t leave the house without almost all of them on my face.

PicMonkey CollageThese two lip products are amazing. The shade “Grateful” is a good everyday shade with a bit of tint, but also very moisturizing. “Blushing Bride” is the shade I apply when I’m going out for the evening. I have quite pink lips already, so this shade magnifies my natural color but doesn’t look unnatural. I can’t wait to add to my lip collection, because the formula for these really work well for me and my lips.

PicMonkey Collage1This mascara…words cannot describe how it has changed my life. Just one coat of this and my lashes are longer, thicker, and darker looking than ever before but still look natural. It also lasts all day, but isn’t hard to wash off at the end of the evening.

PicMonkey Collage2I never used to fill in my brows. A few weeks ago I tried Tarte’s brow powder in blonde and I couldn’t believe the difference it made. My face just seemed more…put together. Polished. I have very light red eyelashes and brow hairs, so mascara + brow powder = perfection.

I’ve been on the market for a tinted moisturizer, and after testing out a few different brands and reading reviews I decided Tarte was the best option for me. And I’m sure glad I did! The Amazonian Clay seems to be great for my skin, and the coverage is enough to balance out the skin but not cover up everything. Perfect for everyday, and also build-able and can be layered with your favorite foundation.

I hope you enjoyed a peek into my makeup collection! Tell me below what your favorite Tarte product is at the moment, and if you use anything I mentioned. I love hearing your experiences!

And as always, please follow me on Instagram & Twitter to keep up with what I’m up doing!

WHEN MY ALARM FORGETS TO GO OFF…

Lets just say it was one of those mornings where my alarm decided to sleep in somehow. I was supposed to be at work at 8:00am and unfortunately that’s when I woke up. So I thought I would share what I do to get ready in record time! Below are eight things I can’t leave the house without:

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Thankfully today wasn’t a wash hair day, but if it was I would load on the dry shampoo and let is sit while I get dressed- and probably plug in my straightener too, just in case there’s a few hairs not cooperating. I usually add dry shampoo even if I don’t particularly need it. It adds great texture and makes it look like you took time to style it. Also a huge fan of my straightener, purchased at TJ Maxx. It’s white with a champagne color which has slowly become one of my favorite colors.

Also, my makeup routine is reduced so I only add the essentials- Ulta Fabulous Face Concealer applied with my Real Techniques Expert Face Brush (if necessary…but honestly always is), mascara (at the moment using Tarte’s Lights, Camera Lashes), and a bit of eyeliner (Sonia Kashuk).

I’m always terrible at picking out an outfit, but when I’m in a hurry it seems to be even more difficult. Scanning my closet multiple times and saying to myself “I have nothing to wear,” I finally settle on something quick, comfortable and work-friendly.

No time for breakfast, so I put some Grapefruit juice in a water bottle with a couple ice cubes and grab a yogurt and applesauce for snacking throughout the day…I need to go grocery shopping.

It’s usually around this time that my cat, Myrtle gets super upset that I’m not giving her attention. A quick pat on the head will have to suffice until I get home later. But it’s hard to say no to this face:

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I spray on some perfume (White Citrus from Bath and Body Works), deodorant, and brush my teeth as I walk around getting things in my bag for the day: wallet, IPad, book, name tag, and earphones.

And I’m out the door in record time! Any tips you have to get ready in the morning quickly? Let me know in the comments below!

And as always, please follow me on Instagram & Twitter to keep up with what I’m up doing!

 

OOPS I DID IT AGAIN

One word: Sale. It gets me every time. I should never be allowed to go into a Bath & Body Works, let alone during their biggest sale of the season. M (who you met in one of my latest blog posts “One of my Favorites“) wanted to go into BBW and get some soaps. I graciously offered to go along as moral support (and to make sure she didn’t go overboard). Well, that didn’t quite work out as planned. Let’s just say we both left the store carrying quite the heavy bag of goodies and a little less money in our wallets, but at least we’ll smell nice?

I’ve always been obsessed with their Eucalyptus Spearmint line, but I know the scent is not for everyone. I think it’s refreshing in the summer, and really helps open up your sinuses in the winter when you have a cold. And, I must admit, I absolutely love the color and details on the packaging so that certainly drew me to the line in the first place. When I walked into the store I was immediately hit in the face (figuratively, of course) with this huge sign and display saying:

“Buy 2, get 2 free Aromatherapy Products”

…and if you’re a regular BBW customer, you know that NEVER happens. EVER. Well…I had to get 4 items, and below are the items I chose along with an already half-used up candle in the same scent:

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Seriously beautiful packaging, is it not? This smell really does relieve stress for me. When I’ve had a tough day and want to feel clean and relaxed, I reach for the body wash in this scent and then lather up with the lotion if I’m feeling extra stressed. Also, as weird as it might sound, my cat Myrtle loves this scent. When I light the candle she really seems to chill out and enjoy (from afar, of course) the candle’s aroma. I guess she has great taste!

I have yet to try the bath soak and luxury bath I bought, but I’m really excited to test them out on my next pamper evening- just take a deep breath in and feel your stress melt away!

What’s your favorite scent that relaxes you?

MY EMPTIES FROM MARCH

This month I didn’t really empty that many products- but I have been trying out a lot of new things! Here are the products I finished up and what I thought of them:

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Suave Professionals Rosemary & Mint Shampoo and Conditioner: Loved this stuff- mostly for the smell. But I also loved the formula and it seemed to work well with my hair. I started the bottles in September and since I had a pixie cut throughout most of these bottles’ lives I JUST NOW finished them. One good thing about short hair- the ability to have a bottle of hair product last a looooong time. Would I buy these again? Yes.

Clean & Clear Deep Action Oil-Free Cream Cleanser: You know those travel-sized bottles that most department stores have? Well I was in Target one day and they were having a 50% off little bottles sale and I decided it would be the perfect time to try out new products- and if I don’t like them I’m only out 50 cents. I picked up this bad boy and really liked it. I think I’ve used it before but I like to try out new skincare products to keep my skin from getting used to a product. This stuff was gentle, and when applied it makes your pores tingle- which to me was a good sign that it was getting my face super clean (I think?). It was also really relaxing, and I sometimes would put it on and let it sit for a few minutes in the bath. How luxurious. Would I buy this product again? Yes.

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Facial Scrub: This was another skincare product I decided to give a go for a mere 50 cents. This one I wasn’t as impressed with. My skin is dry and sensitive, so I tend to stray away from a facial scrub unless I feel like I really need it. This scrub smelled lovely, but all in all nothing to write home to. Granted, I did use it up, but I wouldn’t buy it unless it was on sale.

Bath & Body Works CO Bigelow MENTHA Lip Balm Stick: I have to say, I loved this lip balm to the very end. Perfect moisturizing-ness for wintertime chapped lips and a great scent. If you haven’t already figured out that I love mint then you must be blind. I’m super sad it’s gone, and the next time I walk by a Bath & Body Works I’m definitely getting a new one.

Dried Cranberries: Oh man, I’ve been obsessed with these guys all month long. I’ve been putting them in everything: salads, yogurts, and even granola (check out my blog post for a recipe). Super good for you and a healthy snack for on the go. I know this bag isn’t technically empty, but it’s the second one I’ve bought this month. Give me a break. 😉

What were your favorites this month?

MY EMPTIES FROM FEBRUARY

I know this post is a bit late, but here are the products I literally used to the bitter end- and what I thought of them!

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Bath & Body Works Apple Ale Candle: One of the best smelling candles for the fall/winter season. Immediately smells of apples and cinnamon, and warms you up instantly. Would buy again (once it’s the season for this candle). One thing I don’t like about Bath & Body Works- they get you hooked on a seasonal scent and then make you wait a whole year (or never) for them to come out again. What I’ve learned- buy them all so you can have it all year. My favorite scents lately have been Blackberry Spice, Champagne Toast, and an old favorite Eucalyptus Spearmint.

Coffee-Mate Peppermint Mocha Creamer: I am seriously addicted to this stuff. I put it in my morning coffee religiously, and thankfully they have started selling it all year around instead of just around Christmas- minty things are not just for Christmas time! I can’t live without a bottle of this in my fridge.

Davines No 5 Mat Pliable Stucco for Wizards: I know I’ve talked about this product a couple times before, but I just can’t get enough of it. Perfect to hold (especially shorter hair) in place and has some give and take for moving it around throughout the day- not hard and crunchy but flexible and natural. Already bought another bottle to replace this one. Yum.

E.L.F. – Under Eye Concealer & Highlighter: Honestly think I took this from my sister when I stayed with her for a few weeks. I never used the highlighter side, but I used up the concealer side. I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite concealer, but it did the job for the most part and only retails for about $3. I find that other concealers have more covering power, but if you’re having a good skin day, it will cover up minor things. Probably won’t buy this again.

Secret Clinical Strength Solid Lavender Deodorant: I’m going to be honest- when it’s warm outside, I sweat. Everybody sweats. I find that regular deodorant doesn’t really do the job, and I so far have really liked this product. I think I’ll probably try out another brand of clinical strength deodorant for a comparison, but if by the end of that stick I like the Secret brand better, I’ll probably make it a constant in my routine.

Victoria’s Secret Beauty Rush SECRET CRUSH Water Fruits & Lily Lotion: I’m a big lotion person- especially in the winter when my skin craves moisture 24/7. I go into Victoria’s Secret about once a year when they have their huge panties sale. As I was checking out, I noticed they were having a 75% off sale on all of their beauty products. I ended up leaving with much more than I expected, but the scents on their lotions are quite lovely. I’m sad to see this one end, but I can always buy more when they have the sale again. It’s sweet, but not overpowering- and very clean. Give it a sniff sometime.

Avon Glimmersticks Eye Liner in Blackest Black: Not sure how this came into my possession (might have been given to me) but it was good while it lasted. It didn’t last as long as I expected it to, but I liked how it applied to my eyes and I would use it again- although I am currently loving the eye liner I’m using now.

 

Any products you’ve loved to death recently?

WHAT’S IN MY BAG- APPARENTLY READY FOR MARCH

As I was reaching into my bag for some chapstick, I realized that I’m more prepared for St. Partick’s Day than I thought. A lot of the items in my little pouch were green, gold or minty- I just had to snap a picture:

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These are the things that (lately) I can’t leave the house without.

C.O. Bigelow Mentha Lip Balm Stick: http://www.bathandbodyworks.com/product/index.jsp?productId=22993546

This is seriously one of my favorite chapsticks- it’s smooth, mousturizing, and minty. It’s perfect for wintertime- but in the summer I find it goes on a bit thick. During winter, I’ll take all the moisture on the lips I can get.

Wet n Wild Mega Protein Mascara: http://wnwbeauty.com/product.php?cid=15&pid=89&subid=24

So far, I’m enjoying this mascara. To be completely honest, I hate brand new mascara- it seems to go on too thick for my fair/redheaded complexion, but once the tube gets “broken in” I’m sure I’ll love it. I haven’t really noticed if the proteins in this bottle have done anything to improve my eyelashes, but it seems to be staying on all day and is quite black.

Wet n Wild Coverall Pressed Powder in Light: http://wnwbeauty.com/product.php?cid=17&pid=929&subid=35

Apparently I’m on a Wet n Wild kick- but I do love their products! This powder is great for touching up under the eyes or around the t-zone throughout the day. Since it’s winter, I definitely moisturize before applying for a smooth finish. And, as you can tell from the picture, my pressed powder is very loved.

Essie “Good as Gold” nail polish: http://www.essie.com/Effects/mirror-metallics/good-as-gold.aspx

I’ve tried out lots of gold nail polishes- gold is one of my favorite colors so I am quite picky when it comes to shades of gold. Out of all the golds I found at the drugstore, this one has to be my favorite. It’s not see-through when you apply it, and is very shimmery and matches all of my gold jewelry- which is quite important.

Sonia Kashuk Twist Up Longwear Liner in Black Onyx: http://www.target.com/p/sonia-kashuk-twist-up-longwear-liner/-/A-14264328

This is one of the smoothest eye liners I’ve ever bought. You barely have to touch it to your skin and it just melts (in a good way, I promise) onto your skin in a beautiful line. I got it on clearance at Target, but it might become a regular in my collection. I also love that I don’t have to sharpen anything- it twists up with more product easily. It comes in different colors, and I might just have to try them out.

The makeup brush came in a brush set from Walgreens about a year ago- but I really like angled eyeshadow brushes for everything powdery.

And of course- Extra Spearmint Gum: delicious. And the gum itself is a bit of a neon green color which always makes for interesting gum bubbles.

What are some constants in your bags lately?

BODY SHOP HAUL

The day has come- my Body Shop order has arrived at my doorstep.

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The whole point of this online shopping spree was to get their bronzer that I had heard marvelous things about. And to be completely honest, I was up at 3am watching some of my favorite beauty YouTubers shouting their love for Body Shop and this bronzer, so in my sleep deprived state, I gave in. I entered the Body Shop website, and on their banner it read “BUY 2 THINGS, GET 2 FREE!” And I have to be quite honest- I’m a girl who loves a good sale. I had to go through with it.

So I found the bronzer I wanted- but I needed 3 more things. I wasn’t that impressed with their makeup brushes and I didn’t know enough about their skincare products to go down that road, so I focused on makeup. I found this blush with the most beautiful pinky color- and to seal the deal (or purchase) of this blush was its name: marshmallow. Delicious. ooo

I also (as you may already know) love neutral eye-shadows. But sometimes, even a girl like me needs a little glitter in her life. The Shimmer Cubes seemed like a perfect purchase for me- neutral, but shimmery for a special evening. The packaging was also what intrigued me- it’s literally a box of eye shadows in little cubes that look good enough to eat. I mean how adorable is that?

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Finally, I saw they had a clearance section. And the moment I saw that they had grapefruit-scented anything I wanted to buy it all- I mean I heard angels singing and I was close to hitting a “BUY ALL” button. But I settled on getting a grapefruit gift set so I can try the products out and maybe in the future buy more of what I couldn’t live without.

I also bought a new luffa- not an exciting purchase but everyone needs a good luffa now and again.

But seriously- how beautiful is this bronzer? It’s almost too beautiful to use. But I will, I promise. What I really like about it is how light it is. I am quite a lighter-colored person and some bronzers I’ve looked at and tried in the past were way to dark and unnatural. So my dears, if you are lighter skinned like me this bronzer is for you.

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(Please ignore the mess in the background on the mirror- eek).

Have you shopped at Body Shop? What are your favorite products?

TARGET CLEARANCE- MY WEAKNESS

So you know when you go into Target and you accidentally walk by some clearance stuff…and the next thing you know your basket is full of things? Yeah, that’s why I try and limit my Target runs to once every few weeks. Here’s my latest haul:

I probably went a bit too far. But everything had a clearance sticker on it, which made me feel a little bit better about my purchases.

I’m a sucker for neutral eye shadows. I don’t wear dark makeup or anything super colorful- I like to stay as true to natural as possible. And apparently, from the picture, I struck gold on that front (and some gold tones as well).
…see what I did there. Man, I’m hilarious.

ANYWAY- I also have never found a blush or bronzer that I liked. We’ll see if my cheap buys are ones I’ll love to use. But in this weather (cold, snowy ick) I find that I’m already naturally blushed. I’m also one of the few redheads that can get a tan, but since it’s wintertime I lost my beautiful Florida tan I worked on this summer. Oh well, better luck next year.

I also am always on the hunt for great accessories for my hair. I have finally decided to start growing it out of the cute pixie I’ve had for almost 2 years now. I love it, but I forgot what it’s like to have long hair- and I’m pretty sure once I grow it out I’ll chop it off again. But hey, it’s an experience, right? Here’s the headband and the progress I’ve made so far on the growing out endeavor:

I also am super bad at washing my makeup off at night (I know, I know). Hopefully these “fun” cleansing wipes will make me remove it before going to bed. I’m pretty sure my skin is mad at me for this. Hopefully we can kiss and makeup.
…get it? Makeup?

Okay, I promise to stop now.

But I guess this blog post is just to show you the wonderful things about Target’s clearance section. But be warned- if you enter, you probably won’t leave empty handed.

Until next haul!