Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tarte - The Miracle of Maracuja - Winter Collection

Earlier this year, Tarte and QVC followed up their Glow Your Way to Gorgeous sets with The Miracle of Maracuja.  The first set launched in March of this year; the second in July, and this is the third and last installment. For details on the first set, please click here.  For details on the second set, please click here.   I recently received the third and last installment of The Miracle of Maracuja Collection, an 8-piece set exclusive to QVC (; Retail $59.96). 

  • Beauty & the Box Amazonian Clay Eye Shadow Quad in Through the Grapevine (6.8 g) - Includes Valley, Rosé, Berry Blend, and Grape shadows in a lovely floral-patterned box.  Shadows apply very smoothly and have good color payoff and work nicely together.  This box offers more gold, berry shades while the first installment offered more pink, plum smokey shades and the second installment was more neutral.

  • Cashmere Waterproof Gliding Liner (0.28 g) - In Black Bark - Similar to the SmolderEyes liners, this pencil has some staying power once you give it some time to set.  I wore it layered under the Grape shadow and I liked the effect.

  • Airblush Maracuja Blush (5.3 g) - In Shimmering Pink - This is a lovely smooth blush with very nice pigmentation that is easy to blend!  I just love this formulation.  Again, I would have liked the ability to pop the pan out of the compact like their Amazonian Clay blushes but this purple, mirrored compact is sleek enough to throw in my purse.  Also, unlike the Amazonian Clay blushes, it's easy to tell which shade is which.  With these blushes, all are packaged in the same compact so I have to be sure I am selecting the correct shade when pulling it from my vanity and dropping it in my purse.

  • Foundation Brush - This brush is not named in the pamphlet.  I presume it is a foundation brush as it is very similar to the MAC 190 foundation brush.  I have used it to apply my foundation but as the foundation did not come with this collection, I find it strange that it was included.  As for blush application, I love the Airbrush Finish Bamboo Blush Brush that came with the first Miracle of Maracuja set.
  • Maracuja Divine Shine Lip Gloss (3.6 ml) - Pouty - A nice, rich, rosy pink shade, I just love the floral packaging.  It took a while for the product to "click up" through the bristles but I love the formula.  The mint-scented gloss includes maracuja oil for hydrating your pucker while glistening your lips with a nice gloss.

  • Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara (7 ml) - Black - The same tube offered in the Glow Your Way to Gorgeous Sets.  Would love to try the Waterproof formula one of these days.  (Tarte!  hint!  hint! - Any chance you will include in one of your future collections?)
  • Maracuja Creaseless Concealer (8 g) - Medium - The collection can be ordered with any one of 4 shades of concealers.  A little of this concealer goes a long way so don't fret the fact that not a lot of product comes out when you squeeze the tube.  Personally, I like that the product doesn't easily ooze out of the tube so there's no waste and I can build the coverage as I need to.

  • Pure Maracuja Oil (50 ml) - This oil is absolutely awesome!  I have used it as my night-time moisturizer since I first received my first Glow Your Way to Gorgeous Set.  It has definitely improved the condition of my skin.  This versatile oil can be used on cuticles, hands, and face.  I have have been known to smooth a drop or two in my palms for a nice shiny, lustre to my hair.  I have also added a few drops to my body lotion whenever my skin needs a moisture boost as maracuja oil has vitamin C and essential fatty acids which promote radiant skin.  This same size retails for $46 on QVC.

As in previous sets, there is a "Get The Look" guide:

Unlike the first set, there were no sneak-peek bonus items but I am pleased with this set, nonetheless.

Overall rating:  Booyah!

This set is well worth the $59.96 price tag.  I am looking forward to the next collection that is set to launch on November 28, 2012.

Have you tried any of these items?  What are your thoughts?

Beautylish Order - Anna Sui Purchase

I'm a sucker for lovely blushes so when I saw the Anna Sui Rose Cheek Colors offered in the Beautylish boutique, I couldn't help myself.  I had heard so many lovely things about Anna Sui's products so I decided to try one of her blush compacts.  The Rose Cheek Colors come in 6 shades: Mystic Rose, Dreamy Rose, Antique Rose, Romantic Rose, Anna Rose, and Sunny Rose.  I purchased Dreamy Rose (301), a lovely coral/pink shade that is lightly fragrant of tea roses (6g/$36).

The site describes the blush as "moist, sheer powder retains a dewy, glossy finish. Use a single color or in different combinations to compliment your look. This Rose Cheek Color has a delicate sparkle and the signature Anna Sui tea rose scent."

Here are swatches of each shade and then all colors swirled together:

From top to bottom:  Top Left Corner Shade in Compact, Center Shade,  Top Right and Bottom Right Shades,  Bottom Left and Middle Right Shade, All shades swirled together
Overall rating: Booyah!  Great compact and a little goes a long way as the shades are nicely pigmented.  Typically scented products can bother me but this compact didn't affect me in the least.  Thanks Beautylish for introducing me to this wonderful blush and also for the recommendation on the hairbrush (post coming soon).

If you are a self-professed makeup addict, you definitely should check out Beautylish!  Click here to check out the site.

POPSUGAR Must Have Box - November 2012

Thanksgiving has come and gone and we are gearing up for the holidays and entertaining.  In my house, Christmas and Hanukkah are observed.  I couldn't wait to tear into my POPSUGAR Must Have November Box to see what was the POPSUGAR team put together for the holidays.  POPSUGAR'S Must Have Box costs $35 plus tax (free shipping) and it includes a variety of must have products from the worlds of beauty, fashion, fitness, food, and home.

My November Box contained the following items:

Fashion - Gorjana Parker Bracelet; $55 - This leather bracelet is perfect for this season as it is burgundy and is accented in gold. I love the trendy wrap-around look and it can easily be appropriate for work, a party, or casual outings.

Beauty - MOR Lip Macaron - French Vanilla -; 10g/.35oz/$10 - Who doesn't love lip balm, especially during the cold weather.  With the wind picking up here in the Northeast, I am just loving this lip balm!  MOR Lip Macarons are inspired by french pastries and this one is just yummy!  I can't wait to try other scents.

Home - Snow & Graham Thank You Notes - Dogwood -; Box of 6/$15 - Technology, in my humble opinion, has added more value to receiving a "snail mail" card.  Something about someone taking the time to write out a card, stamp it, and mail it, makes it invaluable. These are just lovely and I look forward to purchasing more of these babies as my stationery needs grow.  The selection from this Chicago-based store is wonderful!

Food - La Boîte Spice Mixes - Sweet & Savory Spice Collection -; 3 .5 oz jars: Cancale, Yemen, Reims; 7.5 oz collection/$28.99 on - I just love trying new recipes and I look forward to trying the recipes included in this month's Must Have Box and put these spices to use.  Chef Lior Lev Sercarz is a master spice mixer and his NYC store is just a wonder for those of us that appreciate the culinary arts.

Food - Stonewall Kitchen Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Mix; 18 oz. -; $9.99 - I just love fresh doughnuts, but I have never tried to make my own.  This package yields 10-12 baked doughnuts, not fried ones.  Of course, this means I need to run out and get a doughnut pan, not just to make these but because Stonewall Kitchen offers a whole host of other types of doughnut mixes.  Nom, nom.

Fitness - Mandy Ingber's Yogalosophy DVD; $14.98; - Yoga Instructor Mandy Ingber is a yoga instructor to the stars and for those of us planning to incorporate yoga into our fitness routine, this is a wonderful introduction to the basics of Mandy's practice.

Special Extras:

Fashion - Stylemint Credit; Good for one tee;;  - Who doesn't love supersoft t-shirts?  There are tons to choose from on Stylemint thanks to Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.  Can't wait to grab one of these babies!!!!

Home - CanvasPop; $30 gift certificate - CanvasPop converts any photo in a canvas print all with just the click of a mouse.  Trouble is, I can't figure out which photo I'd like to convert first.

Overall rating: Booyah!!!  If you have not yet tried POPSUGAR Must Have Boxes/Bags, you're truly missing out.  The value and selection of items are not to be believed!!!

If you're interested in trying POPSUGAR, please click here and enter the code REFERFRIENDS for $5 off your first order.  This code is only good for new subscribers and is valid until 2/28/2013.

Chantecaille Les Pétales de Rose Illuminating Face Powder

Everyone that knows me recognizes and accepts me for the highlighter lover that I am.  When I learned that Chantecaille was releasing a new Illuminating Face Powder as part of their Holiday 2012 Collection, I decided to give it a try, especially since I have never tried any of their highlighters.

Chantecaille's Les Pétales de Rose (12 g/$74) is absolutely lovely.  It reminds me of a softer version of Guerlain's Cruel Gardenia Météorites Illuminating Iridescent Powder which launched in January 2012.  Cruel Gardenia Météorites had a lower price point but also offered less product (9 g/$67).  The packaging reads, "Chantecaille's Rose Petal Powder is a festive kaleidoscope of sheer colors pressed together to impart the most flattering glow."

The Saks Fifth Avenue website reads: "Inspired by the soft color and texture of crushed rose petals, Chantecaille has created a limited-edition highlighting powder that will brighten up your powder room as well as your face. Made in Italy."

Top to bottom: Chantecaille Les Pétales de Rose Top Part of Compact; Bottom Part of Compact; Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Météorites Illuminating Iridescent Powder - Swatches

Top to bottom: Chantecaille Les Pétales de Rose Top Part of Compact; Bottom Part of Compact; Guerlain Cruel Gardenia Météorites Illuminating Iridescent Powder - Blended Out

Overall rating:  Booyah!  This highlighter is great for daytime as it is not iridescent so the effect is subtle .  I love the fact that the compact is small and sleek so it's easy to carry around for day into night touchups.

Have you tried any Chantecaille products?  Would love to hear your thoughts?  Are you a highlighter junkie like me?  Are there any other highlighter products you'd like to see featured in a post?

Monday, November 12, 2012

IPSY Bag Shipment - October 2012

The October Ipsy Bag, themed "Hello, Bombshell," is a nylon black and white zipper bag trimmed in shiny red with haircare, lip stain, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara as well as a bonus NUME gift certificate.

Here's a review of the items I received and descriptions as reflected on the brand websites:

TheBalm - What's Your Type? "the body builder" mascara - 3.5 ml deluxe sample; Full size 12ml/$19 - This long-lasting, clump-free mascara boasts a highly pigmented formula and deep-black finish that won't smudge, smear or weaken throughout the day.  Specially formulated with Vitamin E, Panthenol, and Bamboo, "The Body Builder" works to condition and stregthen lashes to their fullest and foxiest. It's just what you need to build impressive body, without breaking a sweat. There is an offer for 15% off a future order on

Mirenesse - Lip Bomb Glossy Lacquer Stain - #9 - Full size 3.1 g/$35.10 - A Revolutionary colour that combines gloss, stain and lacquer all in one!  A satisfying NEW INNOVATION in lip colour; beyond gloss, stain or lip lacquer. Colour that drenches your lips for a juicy high impact colour that's feather-light and super-moist with a velvety finish. Power packed with non-smearing pigment that lasts and lasts. Colours may be mixed easily to create countless intense or nude looks depending on your fashion mood! Infused with a breath refreshing mint taste and Lip Perfecting Spheres plus caring vitamins. Who says you can't have it all?, Apply a small amount and mix shades to create your own personal shade! Infinity Lip™ Applicator allows for professional application of precision colour. Don't apply too much! It's better to apply a thin layer first then build it up if you want more colour. For extra long wear pair with a matching lip liner.  My thoughts: Can't believe I got a full-sized product of this value in a $10 sampling program.  There is an also of $20 off a future purchase.

Couture Colour - Pequi Oil Treatment - Full size 15 ml/$12 - What it is: A restorative hair treatment derived from the Amazonian Pequi fruit. What it does: Pequi Oil Treatment revives even the driest, most brittle hair that's been color-treated or chemically straightened. It also tames frizz, mends split ends with a natural UV filter, and keeps color vibrant. It contains moisture-restoring antioxidants, Vitamins A and E, proteins and lipids that help make every hair type noticeably softer, shinier, and smoother like never before. What it is formulated WITHOUT:

- Parabens
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Dyes
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

What else you need to know: Pequi Oil Treatment absorbs instantly, won't weigh hair down, and can be used every day. It does not contain alcohol and has not been tested on animals.

Research results:
- Dull, damaged hair is up to 600% stronger* after one application of Pequi Oil Treatment.
- Pequi Oil Treatment provides a 250% improvement in shine on dull, damaged hair.
*based on a clinical study.
 My thoughts: This is absolutely fabulous and works wonders on my dry, color-treated, curly hair.  I have since ordered a larger size using my 20% offer.

be a….bombshell - Eyeliner - Onyx - Full size 3 ml/$14 - A basic black eye liner. Long lasting and highly pigmented – this eyeliner can be used with any look to bring definition to your eyes. 

Bombshell Application: Use like a marker, drawing with the tip closest to your lashline. To create a smoky eye look, gently smudge and smoke out liner.
Bombshell Tip: For Dramatic full-looking lashes, gently dot between lashes. Follow with a coat of Bombshell mascara. For a pop of color, try a colored pencil!
Bombshell Tip: To make lashes look more full, line the upper lash line with liner and follow with the lining the lower waterline. My thoughts: Another full-sized product!  What a bargain!  Who can't use a black eyeliner?  An offer for 25% off a future purchase is included!!!

Coastal Scents - Eye Shadow - Rosy Pink, Gunmetal, Elven Silver, Light Pink - 2 g sample packet; Full size 1.3 g/$1.99 - Rosy Pink: soft, mauve shade with a matte finish; Gunmetal: sultry, deep grey with a slight satiny finish; Elven Silver: shimmery light silver; Light Pink: a light, shimmery pink shade. These shadows are nice for the price but need a primer for staying power.  They are affordable and you get a lot of product for the price.  An offer of 20% off a future purchase is included.

NUME Style - Gift Certificate - $100 - Towards the purchase of professional styling tools and hair extensions. My thoughts: I could use a new curling wand but need to research reviews on the ones NUME offers.  Look for future posts to see if I've purchased one.

Overall rating:  Booyah!  for value of the product contents and introducing me to new products brands that I love.

Beauty Box 5 - October 2012 Shipment

Beauty Box 5 is a new beauty sampling program that costs $12 a month, $30 per quarter or $100 per year (


Here is a list of my October 2012 shipment contents and descriptions as reflected in the insert card:

Margania - Pure Argan Oil - Sample size/Full size 2 fl oz/$32 - With naturally high levels of Vitamin E and skin-supporting fatty acids, this "miracle" oil is perfect for healing skin ailments and protecting against premature aging.  Use alone or mix with your moisturizer. A promotion code for 25% off is provided.

City Lips - Lip Plumper - Los AngeLIPS - 1.5 ml Sample; Full size 5ml/$32 - These luscious lip plumpers are packed with antioxidants and moisturizing ingredients!  Apply alone or over lipstick for fuller, plumper lips in an instant! A promotion code for 20% off is provided.

Goat Haus Dairy - Lip Balm - Sugar Kisses - Appears to be full size though the balm portion is about 2/3rds the length of the tube; $2.50 - Your lips will lust after this light-weight soft and silky goats-milk lip balm!

ShowStoppers - Fashion Tape - Sample of 2 Black strips; Full size 24 strips/$9.99 - Lost a button on your shirt? Does your bra keep showing? Keep your "fashion fashioned" with these ingenious, purse-sized packets of double stick designer fashion tape.  A promotion code for BOGO free is provided.

Furlesse - Elevens - 3 day sampler; Full size 30 patches/$19.99 - Relax frown lines in a gentle, natural (no needles!) way.  Simply apply the clear patch, go to sleep and a few hours later you'll see fewer lines.  It's that easy.  A promotion code for 20% off is provided.

Lash Card - Lash Cards - Sample pack of 2 cards; Full size 10 pack/$6.99 - Great for maximizing curl, separating lashes and avoiding those bottom lash mishaps, these discrete little cards are your lashes new best friend!

Overall rating: Booyah! for the variety of items this box included, not to mention the value.  I put these babies to immediate use.  Don't you just love when you get a shipment of items you can use?

Have you tried Beauty Box 5?  What are your thoughts?