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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beauty Army - January Shipment

After doing so well with Birchbox, I researched other beauty sampling programs and learned of Beauty Army (www.beautyarmy.com).


Beauty Army costs $12 and, unlike Birchbox, you can select up to 6 samples that are tailored to your needs based on responses to Profile Questions: Skin Tone, Preferences for a Night Out Look, Every Day Look,  Adventurous Look, Hair Type, and Preference of Nail Color.  After you answer your profile questions, you select what type of samples you'd like from a list of 20 categories:  Acne, Anti-Aging, Anti-Oil, Anti-Redness, Anti-Rosacea, Body, Brightening, Cleanser, Exfoliant, Hair, Make up, Men's Products, Moisturizers, Nails, Smoothing, Sun Damage Reversal, Tanning, SPF, All Natural, and Eye Area.






Lastly, you pick your age category, register and then you select your samples.  y first shipment came in a very cute, re-usable flip top box that is lined with a pink camouflage pattern.  My January selection, and their Beauty Army descriptions, consisted of:





  • CellCeuticals PhotoDefense SPF 55+ (0.33 oz) - This hydrating formula provides tons of anti-aging and sun protection, aiding and improving the skin's natural defenses.  With all these powerful ingredients, your skin will stay youthful and free of sun damage. 
  • Lift Lab Lift & Firm Eye Cream (0.17 oz) - This intensive eye cream is designed to specifically target crow's feet, wrinkles, dark circles, puffiness and sagginess of the delicate skin around your eyes.  With active ingredients proven to fight aging, this serum will protect and drastically improve skin.
  • MAD Skincare Youth Transformative Age Corrective Serum (0.13 oz) - This multi-stem cell and multi-peptide technology infused serum will be a great choice in your anti-aging regiment to have the best possible looking skin.  Skin will feel hydrated, moist, plump, nourished, and recharged.
  • Shea Terra Rose Hips Black Soap Deep Pore Facial Cleanser (1 oz.) - Sourced from the Youruba tribe in Nigeria, this black facial wash and mask has a true cult following.  Working like microdermabrasion to get rid of dead skin, this face wash is staid to make you look younger in minutes.
  • Indie Lee The Body Scrub (Coconut and Citrus - 1.6 oz) - Delivers a daily dose of pampered, sexy skin.  The essential oils create a calming, light, lemon scent to start or end your day.
  • LaRocca Skincare 24k Exfoliating Cream Facial Cleanser (1 oz.) - A silky cream with a gentle exfoliant that dissolves makeup quickly while it moisturizes and stimulates collagen growth.
As with most sampling programs, you can visit the website and order full-sized products.  

Overall rating:  Booyah!

I love the fact that these samples are tailored to my needs and wants and can't wait to see what the Beauty Army brigade offers me next month.

Have you tried Beauty Army?  Would love to hear your comments about their sampling program and any others.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Makeup Geek (MUG) Essential Eyeshadows

After many years as a beauty blogger, Marlena aka Makeup Geek has launched her own shadows to pair off with her brushes.  I bought her essential eyeshadow kit which is a set of 8 shadows that, in my opinion, work on many skin tones.  The shadows come in a 26mm (same size as M.A.C., Coastal Scents and Inglot Round shadows) but they don't come in a palette.  Typically, they retail for $5.99 but the 8-shadow set is a bargain at $45 (a savings of $3).
The 8-shadow set includes (as described by MUG):

  • Cocoa Bear - matte golden brown
  • Mocha - matte warm medium brown
  • Glamorous - bronzy shimmery gold
  • Purely Naked - soft shimmery nude
  • Shimma Shimma - shimmery highlight
  • Purple Rain - deep but subtle matte purple
  • Unexpected - light and subtle pink matte purple blend
  • Corrupt - intense matte black with a small bit of sparkle

For purposes of displaying, them I have placed them in a 10-round Inglot Palette.
Top Row: Shimma Shimma, Unexpected, Glamorous, Mocha
Bottom Row: Purely Naked, Purple Rain, Cocoa Bear, Corrupt
Here are some swatches:
Top to Bottom: Shimma Shimma, Purely Naked, Unexpected, Purple Rain
Top to Bottom: Glamorous, Cocoa Bear, Mocha, Corrupt
Overall rating: Booyah! (considering the price and pigmentation, not to mention the color choices)

I can't wait to try out the other shades of the 50 currently offered.

Have you tried these?  Please let me know your thoughts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

January Birch Box and Giveaway!

Everyone knows I love to try new things!  This year, I subscribed to Birchbox and I received my first shipment for January.  The theme for this month is "Clarity."




What was in the wrapped package pictured on the lower left corner?  A lovely fragrance sample of Juicy Couture....



 This month's contents as described by the Birchbox Team:

  • Algenist Firming & Lifting Cream: Turn back the clock with this sophisticated moisturizer, which uses a unique micro-algae compound to boost skin's elasticity.
  • FIX Malibu Immaculate Complexion Smoothing Serum: This clever serum is on our skincare honor roll.  Antioxidant-rich vitamins A, C, and E brighten skin tone and soften wrinkles.
  • Juicy Couture: Juicy's signature fragrance is a blend of sweet floral notes.  Sophisticated and feminine, it's perfect for day or night.
  • Zoya Nail Polish in Kendal: A sweet cream periwinkle, this on-trend neutral from Zoya's Feel Collection will take you from winter to spring.
  • Extra: 'wichcraft Granola: This toasty granola, from Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio's NY-based 'wichcraft chain, takes care of snack cravings without any guilt.
The BB Team also included a handy magnet and a Mini Detoxes card with tips to keep me focused on clarity.


Write back with your thoughts on these items or tips for clarity and I will enter you in a drawing to win a full-sized Zoya Nail Polish in Carey, a pretty light gray shade.  Please respond by Friday, January 27th at midnight Eastern Time to be entered in the drawing.



Good luck!!!

Kimbo

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Gel Creamliner - Brown Eyes

Part of Physicians Formula's Glam collection is the Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Gel Cream Liner Trio which I recently purchased for my brown eyes as part of a BOGO 50% off deal at my local drugstore (regular retail $10.99; net weight 6g).


Gel Creamliner Trio pictured on the left
The trio offers a gel cream liner in handy stackable pots in gold, bronze, and black with bronze shimmer as well as a brush.  If you have a tendency of losing your eyeliner pot, these are for you as the pots snap together, making them easier to locate and store (an organizer's dream)!


Gel Creamliner Trio for Brown Eyes
Physicians Formula says:


Custom Eyeliner Trio for Metallic Glamour!

  • Unique gel creamliner in three metallic eye enhancing shades for glamorous definition.
  • Brilliant liquid metal shades create an instantly luxurious and stunning glow.
Easy & Precise Gel Cream Formula
  • Innovative formula glides-on effortlessly and provides the precise definition of a liquid eyeliner.
24-Hour Wear
  • Long-wearing, water-resistant and smudge-resistant formula for 24-hour wear.
Professional & Portable Application

  • Pro-Eyeliner brush provides easy and precise application.
  • Stackable eyeliner pots can be pulled apart for individual use on-the-go.
Here are close-ups of each shade and the brush:

Gold
Bronze
Black with Bronze Shimmer
Pro-Eyeliner Brush


Here are some swatches:

From Top to Bottom: Gold, Bronze, Black with Bronze Shimmer

Overall rating:  Booyah!


The formula is very smooth and glides on beautifully.  If you prefer a thinner, more precise line, I recommend a different brush with a longer handle; though the one included with the trio worked nicely on my upper lash line.  I found that the liners wore for 14+ hours and didn't run or smudge throughout the day.  I will definitely be looking for the other trios as I just love this formula.


Have you tried these?  Please let me know your thoughts.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Trio - Brown Eyes

Lately, I have been seeing more and more kajal liners available at the drugstore.  The latest of these is a trio from Physicians Formula which is eye-color-specific.  Being a "brown-eyed girl," I picked up the Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Kohl Kajal Eyeliner Trio for Brown Eyes.


Kohl Kajal Trio pictured on the right


The set includes 3 shades in Espresso, Purple and Black for a Total Net Weight of 2.7g for a retail price of $7.99 which I happened to get during a BOGO 50% off sale at my local drugstore.



  • Espresso




  •  Purple



  • Black





The liners are advertised to be 100% waterproof and good for inner rim (waterline) lining.


Physicians Formula says:


Ultra-Dramatic Definition

  • Highly pigmented eyeliner trio delivers rich color and instant drama!
  • Versatile eyeliner for eye enhancing definition and inner eye rim intensity.
  • Super-smooth gliding texture makes defining eyes effortless.
3x Custom Shades = 3 Custom Looks
  • Each shade creates a custom look for your eye color.
    • Natural - Espresso
    • Playful - Purple
    • Dramatic - Black
100% Waterproof Wear
  • Unique kohl formula is 100% waterproof for high-performance and ultra-glamorous definition.
Here are some swatches:

From Top to Bottom: Espresso, Purple, Black


Overall rating: Boo-Boo (not bad if you don't mind having to go through several passes to get desired color intensity)

I found the initial application a bit lacking of pigment but as I continued to use it the color intensified.  I found the wear to be good though I only applied to my upper and lower lash line and not my waterline.  For a drugstore liner, I prefer the Milani Liquif-eye eyeliners (available in a variety of colors) or for Kajal, the L'oreal Voluminous Smoldering eyeliner (which I have heard come in different colors but I was only able to find in black).

Have you tried these?  Please let me know your thoughts.


*****

Edit: Tried to do a smokey eye with the brown one and the tip broke off revealing that the tip is not very secure and you need to use a very light hand with these. Boo-hiss!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sephora Collection Prisma Chrome Eyeshadow

One of the latest trends I have noticed of late that cosmetic companies are taking eyeshadow formulas to the heights of innovation.  From Estee Lauder's Pure Color Gelee Powder Eyeshadow to M.A.C. Mega Metal Shadows, I just love the direction that eyeshadows are going these days.  Enter Sephora's Prisma Chrome Eyeshadows.


This limited edition collection, formulated without parabens, of 10 shades launched last week and is available at Sephora.com as well as in stores.
From Top to Bottom- Left to Right: Moon Glow, Bronze Brilliance, Purple Prisma; Second Row: Emerald Facet, Shimmery Sand
Top Row - Left to Right: Sapphire Shine, Moon Beam, Black Diamond; Second Row - Burgundy Gem, Gold Reflection
Sephora says, 


  • What it is: A collection of luminous eye shadows that deliver prismatic shine, lush
  • texture, and lavish color payoff. 
  • What it does: The new wave in eye shadow, Prisma Chrome brings together the best
  • features of baked, powder, and cream shadows. Its revolutionary effect captures light
  • perfectly, delivering a prismatic effect with an unbelievably smooth and true color finish.
  • What else you need to know: An innovative blend of ingredients ensures comfortable wear. Pure pigments deliver the truest color imaginable and a highly polished finish. Its unique mica technology provides intense luminosity and a velvety texture that glides over the skin.
Each shadow retails for $15 and contains 3.5g of product in a mirrored compact .

The 10 shades offered are:  
  • Moon Beam 05 - an opalescent pink beige
  • Shimmery Sand 10 - light golden sand
  • Bronze Brilliance 15 - copper
  • Gold Reflection 20 - bright yellow gold
  • Emerald Facet 25 - golden teal
  • Sapphire Shine 30 - royal blue
  • Moon Glow 35 - silvery gray
  • Purple Prisma 40 - lilac
  • Burgundy Gem 45 - dark plum
  • Black Diamond 50 - black

The eyeshadows come in an interesting swirled and raised pattern that I didn't want to ruin.  I had a tough time figuring out what area I wanted to touch so I can bring you these swatches. 
From Top to Bottom: Sapphire Shine, Moon Beam, Black Diamond, Gold Reflection, Burgundy Gem
From Top to Bottom: Moon Glow, Bronze Brilliance, Purple Prisma, Shimmery Sand, Emerald Facet


I swatched these dry.  Color was more intense applied wet as well as applied over a colored base (I applied a few over Maybelline's Color Tattoo Cream Shadows and the results were amazing).  Staying power over a primer was around 10+ hours.  There can be a bit of fallout so I recommend using a light hand and applying before your foundation.
Overall rating: Booyah!


What are your plans for this shadow?  Do you plan to pick these up?  I'd love to know.


Best,


Kimbo xoxo

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Snowflake says is having a giveaway!!!!

Fellow blogger Amanda aka Snowflake is having a giveaway.  It is currently open and scheduled to close on January 15, 2012 (yikes! if felt weird typing 2012).  :)


The prizes are:
  • OPI Muppets Mini Nail Lacquers set
  • Inglot 3 Eyeshadow Square Pan Palette
  • Inglot Eye Shadows: #106R, #107R & #120R
Check out her blog and enter her giveaway:


Best of luck,

Kimbo xoxo

Maybelline New York Color Tattoo by Eyestudio

I am so excited to let you all know about these wonderful cream shadows, dare I call them "paint pots" I found at my local CVS from Maybelline New York.  Color Tattoos 24-hr eyeshadows are offered in 10 shades, in 4g glass jars for $7.49.  During my visit, CVS had a Buy $15 of Maybelline products and get $5 Extracare Rewards bucks back so these were a steal, considering similar products cost more (M.A.C. Paint Pot 5g product - $17.50; Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner ~4.5g product - $19; Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream 6.8g product - $22).


From Top to Bottom: Too Cool, Fierce & Tangy, Audacious Asphalt, Painted Purple, Bad to the Bronze, Pomegranate Punk, Tough as Taupe, Tenacious Teal, Bold Gold, Edgy Emerald
 The 10 shades offered in the range are: 05-Too Cool (white); 10-Fierce & Tangy (tangerine/orange); 15-Audacious Asphalt (gunmetal gray); 20-Painted Purple (bright violet); 25-Bad to the Bronze (light copper); 30-Pomegranate Punk (reddish burgundy, similar to M.A.C.'s Artifact); 35-Tough as Taupe (grayish taupe); 40-Tenacious Teal (bright turquoise); 45- Bold Gold (medium-toned gold); and 50-Edgy Emerald (bright, light green).


From Top to Bottom: Too Cool, Fierce & Tangy, Audacious Asphalt, Painted Purple, Bad to the Bronze, Pomegranate Punk, Tough as Taupe, Tenacious Teal, Bold Gold, Edgy Emerald
I applied over eye primer and found some of the shades to really stand out on their own.  When used this way, I got about 14 hours of wear, with no creasing or smudging.  I also wore them as a base (no primer), layered with shadow and found them to last 10+ hours.  You can apply with your finger though I used a brush. 


Here are some swatches of group 1:


Top to Bottom: Too Cool, Fierce & Tangy, Audacious Asphalt, Painted Purple, Bad to the Bronze
Here are some swatches of group 2:

Top to Bottom: Pomegranate Punk, Tough as Taupe, Tenacious Teal, Bold Gold, Edgy Emerald
Overall rating: Booyah!


If you find the high-end versions out of your price range, I highly recommend these.


If you end up getting a few, please drop me a line and let me know what you think.


xoxo, Kimbo

Monday, January 2, 2012

Lost Crates December Shipment

One of the best things about a new year is making resolutions.  Every year, I try to get more organized.  I agree that technology has changed the face of organization and our office supplies but there's nothing like an old-fashioned paper and pen.  There's just so much that technology can offer.  With e-mails and instant messaging, I think that many just don't take the time to write a letter or send a card, or journal in the traditional fashion.  Enter lostcrates.com....


Lostcrates.com is like the Birchbox for office supply geeks.  You answer a few questions like:
  • year of birth
  • gender
  • Preferences for:
    • vehicle
    • design
    • food
    • workbag
    • living room
    • television show
    • Monday work clothes
    • writing utensil
  • And some commentary about your choices
Then, our wonderful friends at lostcrates.com will make a selection of items just for you.  The cost of membership is $38 per month.


Lost Crate Shipment as packaged
Lost Crates Shipment - Contents
I received my December shipment a few weeks ago.  Contents and Lost Crates' description are as follows:
  • 2012 Calendar from Quotable - New York, NY - "Sometimes it's hard to get up in the morning.  The Quotable calendar offers an inspiring quote for every month of the year to keep you going."


  • Washi Tape from Mark's - Tokyo, Japan - "Not your ordinary packing tape, Mark's Washi Tape adds variety and color to any holiday package.  We thought we'd send this to you just in time for last-minute shopping."
  • Wine and Thank-You Notes from Orangebeautiful - Chicago, IL - "Emily Martin designs some simply beautiful letterpress cards, and pays attention to detail.  Opening her tags is like getting a little lost crate: we love her humor and typesets." (Set of 6 with envelopes)
  • 'Dream Up' Jotters from Smock - Syracuse, NY - "We're particularly fond of Smock's flexible jotter duo, with a reversible cover and convenient size.  We hope it's easy for you to take care of your naughty and nice lists with this pack."
  • Bicolor pen from Mark's - Tokyo, Japan - "Mark's Bicolor pen is slim enough to fit in your pocket without causing discomfort, yet heavy enough to feel substantial in your hand.  We love its writing feel and sleek magnetic cap."



Of course, you can always re-take your quiz and answer questions differently to see what surprise package you'll get the following month.  Will let you know what I get next month.

If you're an office supply geek like me, check out www.lostcrates.com.  Let me know what you think.

-Kimbo

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector and Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer

Happy 2012 Booyah Beauties!


As part of my New Year's Resolutions, I aspire to find more affordable beauty products and continue to give you my honest opinion of them.  To start things off, I found these two new items from Garnier on a recent trip to my local Walgreen's.



Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B. Cream (B.B. stands for "beauty balm"), comes in two shades: Light/Medium and Medium/Deep.  As I often find that I am lighter in the Winter and Darker during the warmer months, I bought both.  Walgreen's had them priced at $16.99 but had a BOGO 50% off sale while I was there.  Each tube contains 75 ml of product.

Garnier says,

"Garnier introduces Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector that immediately and effectively fulfills your skincare expectations.  Save time with just one multi-benefit product that combines advanced skincare + immediate skin perfecting coverage.  [It] is a miracle all-in-one product with results you can see and feel instantly.  Skin appears airbrushed, beautifully smooth and even.  Its light-weight and comfortable texture blends perfectly into skin for a sheer flawless finish.  This all-in-one formula combines intense moisturizing skincare with Vitamin C + Mineral Pigments for an instant skin transformation: 
  • Renews radiance
  • Brightens complexion
  • Evens skin tone and blurs imperfections
  • Hydrates for 24 hours
  • Protects with SPF 15 UVA/UVB sunscreen against harmful effects of the sun -- the #1 cause of skin aging." 
Walgreen's also had Garnier's Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer on sale for $12.99 with BOGO 50% off.  Each pump contains 50 ml of product.

Garnier says,

"Ultra-Lift introduces a 2-in-1 innovation to deliver powerful anti-wrinkle results in just one easy step.  With 2x Pro-Retinol from Nature (vs. other Garnier products with Pro-Retinol from Nature), Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer combines a precise dose of both a concentrated serum and a daily moisturizer to boost anti-wrinkle and firming action.  This swirl suspension technology means no more compromises - the results of a serum and a moisturizer in just one step!"


I followed my usual cleansing routine and then applied the Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer and then applied a blend of both the Light/Medium and Medium/Deep Skin Perfectors.


I find that the products work well together and did give my skin a nice, even tone though I did apply a bit of concealer on my under-eye area thanks to all the fun I had on New Year's Eve and Day!  :)  I have other high-end Beauty Balms and find these to be just as good for more product (MAC's Prep and Prime Beauty Balm, $30 for 30 ml though MAC's offers SPF of 35, which I like).  I recommend for casual, everyday looks when you want to even your skin tone and don't need heavy coverage.  As for me, I plan on saving my pricier foundation for when I need it.  The Skin Perfector with a bit of concealer where needed and some natural powder, did the trick for me.  

Here are some swatches:

From Top to Bottom: Skin Perfector in Light/Medium, Ultra-Lift 2-in-1 Wrinkle Reducer (blends clear); Skin Perfector in Medium/Deep
Overall rating: Booyah! especially on sale!  :)


Look for these and let me know if you give them a try.

Revlon Photo Ready Sculpting Blush Palette

On a recent trip to my local drugstore, I came upon Revlon's new Photo Ready Sculpting Blush Palette.  It came in four colors: Pink, Peach, Neutral and Berry. Being the peaches 'n' cream type of girl that I am, I reached for Peach.




The mirrored compact contains a contour, blush and highlight shade as well as a brush for $9.79.  Here is a close-up of the colors:




Here are some swatches:


From top to bottom: Blush, Contour, Highlight
Sadly the shades did not show up well on my Medium/Tan skin.  Here's a picture with flash:


From top to bottom: Blush, Contour, Highlight
Overall rating:  Boo-boo for me....may work on lighter-skinned gals.


Have you tried any of the other shades?  Would love to hear your thoughts.