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Sunday, December 16, 2012

NYX Plump It Up Lip Plumper - Pamela, Kim, and Scarlett

After treating myself to some nice holiday lipsticks, I thought I'd save some cash by getting some affordable lip glosses.  Enter NYX Plump It Up Lip Plumper.  This cruelty-free lip gloss causes a light tingling sensation that is supposed to plump your lips.  Of the 9 shades offered, I purchased 3 (8g/0.28oz/$5.50; currently $4.99 on

The Cherry Culture website reads, "Each shade acknowledges well know sensual celebrity lips such as Angelina Joie and Scarlett Johansson, along with plenty other desirable famous vixens. With one swipe of the Pump It Up Lip Plumper, your lips begin to tingle and the transformation from thin to full will occur instantly!"

I bought 3 shades:  Pamela, Kim and Scarlett - named for Pamela Anderson, Kim Kardashian, and Scarlett Johansson, a sheer pink, light nude, and sheer red shade, respectively.

Here are close-ups of each shade:

  • Pamela:

  • Kim:

  • Scarlett:

Overall rating:  Booyah!  They weren't sticky at all and they did temporarily plump my lips slightly.  The tingling sensation did not last too long and the sheen was lovely without being inappropriate for work.  They had a weird smell and weren't flavored (a Boo-Boo!, in my opinion).  For the price they were as effective to me as some more expensive lip plumpers I've tried.

Tom Ford Lipsticks - Black Orchid and Pink Adobe

To treat myself for the Holidays, I decided to indulge in 2 Tom Ford Lipsticks: Black Orchid and Pink Adobe (3g; $48).  The Tom Ford website reads, "To Tom Ford, there is no more dramatic accessory than a perfect lip. It is the focus of the face and it has the power to define a woman’s whole look. Each lip color is Tom Ford’s modern ideal of an essential makeup shade. Rare and exotic ingredients including soja seed extract, Brazilian murumuru butter and chamomilla flower oil create an ultracreamy texture with an incredibly smooth application. Specially treated color pigments are blended to deliver pure color with just the right balance of luminosity."

Black Orchid is a deep berry shade that is perfect for the holidays.

Pink Adobe is a medium mauve/nude shade that is a 
nice neutral shade that is perfect for everyday.  To me, it's a "my lips but better" shade.

Overall rating: Booyah! for quality and pigmentation as well as texture though they are pricey.  It is a very luxurious lipstick if ever you want to treat yourself to a high-end lipstick.

Have you tried any Tom Ford lipsticks?  What shades do you recommend?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

GLOSSYBOX - Refinery29 Holiday Chic Beauty Box - December 2012

For December, in addition to the regular GLOSSYBOX, there was a special edition Holiday Chic Beauty Box which was curated by Refinery29 ($45;  The insert card reads, "'Tis the season to sparkle, and we hope this limited-edition GLOSSYBOX helps you do just that.  As part of Refinery29's Tinseltown, we chose some of our favorite brands and products to give you that extra-special holiday shine well into the New Year (think flawless skin, gorgeous hair, and a glowing complexion).  From all of us at GLOSSYBOX and Refinery29, please enjoy this special gift set -- we know you'll wear it well."

The contents of this shipment were as follows:

Booty Parlor - Flirty Little Secret Perfume - Full size: 0.33 fl oz./10 ml/$22 - Petite, portable, and packed with pheromones, this long-lasting perfume oil will stimulate your senses with an intoxicating blend of plum, raspberry, jasmine, cedar, and sandalwood.  Roll onto your wrists and neck and see what happens.

Cult Nails - Nail Lacquer - After Glow - Full size: 0.5 fl oz/15 ml/$10 - A rich, deep copper nail shade infused with a subtle pink shimmer.  Rest assured as Cult Nail Lacquers are cruelty free and do not contain DBP, formaldehyde, toluene and camphor.  Three coats for maximum opacity.

Josie Maran - Argan Color Stick - Love - Full size: 16 g/0.55 fl oz/$22 - This dual-purpose lip and cheek color provides flattering, glowing color while treating your skin with Josie Maran's signature argan oil.  Achieve a natural and long-lasting dewy finish while repairing and replenishing the skin.  Paraben- and fragrance-free.

Kelly Van Gogh - Rich & Delicious Caviar Hair Masque - Full size: 170 g/6 oz/$35 - Repair and restore overworked hair with this intense hair masque formulated with caviar oil, keratin protein, omega-rich fatty and amino acids.  This product functions like a spa keratin treatment for the hair, helping it become more manageable, shimmering.

Koh Gen Do - Cleansing Spa Water - Travel size:  3.38 fl oz/100 ml; Full size: 10.15 fl oz/$39 - Made with mineral-rich Japanese hot spring water, this best-selling spa water is infused with six essential herbs to cleanse, protect and nurture skin.  In a single sweep, it gently removes makeup and skin's toughest impurities. (2 Koh Gen Do Pure Cotton Pads were included.)

GLOSSYBOX Mag - 2013 Trend Guide Edition - A mini-magazine with brief articles on Trends, Q&A,  Talk, Editor's Picks, and Issey Miyake and Leandra Medine.

Overall rating:  Booyah!  This was a great box jam-packed with great items; most of which were full-sized.  Unlike other shipments, the contents were disclosed up front so there was no surprise as to what I was receiving.

Have you tried GLOSSYBOX?  How about Refinery29? What  are your thoughts?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

E.L.F. Studio Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow

E.L.F. has released Long-Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadows in their Studio Line that are similar to the gel-like powdered shadows offered by the likes of L'Oreal, Giorgio Armani, Lancôme, and Chanel (3g/0.11 oz; $3;

The collection consists of seven shades but I only have six of them.  Each comes in a screw-top jar but does not include an insert, like the other brands.

The E.L.F. website describes them as, "Soft and fluffy, these vibrant, shimmering Long Lasting Lustrous Eyeshadow colors can be used as eyeshadow or a bold liner. The whipped gel texture is easy to blend and lightweight for lasting comfort and wear. Perfect for highlighting the brow bone and adding extra shimmer for a truly glam look."

The shades are all party-themed which is appropriate considering these shadows are more glittery than the other high-end versions.

Here are pictures of each shade and swatches:

From Left to Right: Soirée, Celebration, Party

From Top to Bottom: Soirée, Celebration, Party

From Left to Right: Confetti, Festivity, Gala

From Left to Right: Confetti, Festivity, Gala

Overall rating:  Booyah!  For the price, the texture and pigmentation is decent.  Over a base or a primer, the colors are more vibrant and durable.  They layer and blend nicely.  I will be sure to complete my collection and bring you photos of the last shade as soon as I receive it.

Mally Beauty - Perfect Prep Eye Gel

I don't know about you, but my eyes take a beating during the Holidays.  Late nights, entertaining, etc. all can interrupt my sleep patterns and the next day my eyes betray me by announcing to the world that I'm tired.  When I heard that Mally Roncal had designed this gel to make eyes look their best, I couldn't wait to try it (15 ml/0.51 fl oz; $45).

This gel comes with a silver applicator that is very cool to the touch and it soothes the under-eye area.  The gel contains special peptides, antioxidants, caffeine, high quality colorless quartz and rhodochrosite extract, special moisturizers and red algae.

This stuff made my eyes look tighter, smoother, brighter and more lifted and toned.  Just love this stuff!

Overall rating:  Booyah!  This stuff is awesome and I proudly call this a must-have and have added it to my staples list.  It is well worth the price and I am glad I took advantage of the Easy payments option.  Now, if I could only get QVC to offer this on auto-delivery.....

POPSUGAR Must Have Box - December 2012

With 2013 right around the corner and Christmas festivities yet to come, I was eager to see what was inside my POPSUGAR December Must Have Box which arrived yesterday.  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 December Box contained the following items:

Home - Bodum Bistro Mugs - 10 oz. capacity; $30 - This pair of double-wall glass mugs are perfect to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold all without messy condensation.  I definitely need to get more of these so I can serve everything from a festive punch to hot toddys.


Food - Tea Forté  - Variety Box -; 29.5g/1.04oz/$15 - On cold winter days/nights, I love to have a nice cup of tea.  This sampler box includes 10 silken infusers including Earl Grey, Black Currant, White Ambrosia, White Ginger Pear, Green Mango Peach, Jasmine Green, African Solstice, Chamomile Citron, Raspberry Nectar and Ginger Lemongrass.  What a great way to break in my new Bistro Mugs!

Beauty - Jabonería Marianella Soaps - Dama de la Noche -; 6 oz. bar/$14 - I just love shower gels and can't remember the lst time I used a bar of soap.  However, with the wonderful ingredients of anti-aging argan oil, soothing oatmeal, and cocoa butter, I couldn't wait to try this lovely, fragrant soap which is made with Goat Milk, rich in AHAs and Vitamin A.  These bars are a definite must for those looking to rejuvenate and moisturize their skin.

Fashion - Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit; $15 - All my friends know that I always have a ton of solutions in my bag of tricks.  With the Pinch Provisions Minimergency Kit, I am more than prepared. This cute little pouch includes a bandage, safety pin, earring b acks, deodorant, nail polish remover, stain remover, clear elastics, lip balm, tampon, emery board, hair spray, clear nail polish, dental floss, a mending kit, pain releiver, double-sided tape, and breath freshener.  This makes for a perfect stocking stuffer.  Pinch Provisions also has varieties for college, men, brides and grooms, not to mention the ability to order refills.

Food - Bogdon's Peppermint Poles; 2.6 oz. -; $3.99 - Something about the holidays and peppermint takes me back to my childhood.  These handy peppermint sticks are covered in dark chocolate and can be dipped into coffee or hot cocoa or on its own.  Each stick is 17 calories so not a bad way to indulge.  Nom, nom.

Tech - GoSwype - Lips; $1.99; - This handy microfiber cloth works great to clean my iPhone and my iPad.  It removes dirt, oil, fingerprints and up to 98% of germs and bacteria.  How cool is that?  It is available in 20 styles.  Check them out!

Fashion - Rent The Runway - Good for $30 off a future rental between now and 3/31/2013;;  - A fun and economical way to wear designer clothing and add it to my wardrobe for 4 or 8 days for 10-15% of the retail price.  They also include a second size for free.  Returning costs nothing as they inlcude a pre-paid envelope.


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!!!  The value of this box was $80 not counting the coupon code for Rent the Runway.

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.

Monday, December 3, 2012

GLOSSYBOX - Tis the Season to be Glossy

GLOSSYBOX's "Tis The Season to be Glossy" brought me double the joy in November (monthly subscription: $21;  The insert card reads, "Celebrate and share the experience of GLOSSYBOX this holiday by giving the gift of luxury!  With the festive season of soirees upon us, get gorgeous with our top beauty picks to make you a standout among the crowd of little black dresses.  Whether you're attending the office fête, family gathering or holiday party, the latest collection of products from soothing to hydrating to colorful and fragrant, will keep you looking fabulous from day to night."

The contents of my Holiday shipment were as follows:

Illamasqua LTD - Lip & Eye Medium Pencil - Hex -  Full size: .05 oz/$20 - Designed to glide over your skin and create a long-lasting highly pigmented finish, this creamy pencil lets you write a different story with every look.  Use it to create sultry eyes and sensuous lips.

LIERAC - Gommage Sensoriel - Sample size: 30 ml/1.1 fl oz; Full size: 3.5 oz/$30 - This unique gel-oil texture scrub transforms into a milk upon contact with damp skin for skin-smoothing, toning and invigorating exfoliation.  A mix of three white flower extracts and four precious botanical oils regenerate and soften the skin.

NUME Style - Arganics by NuMe Argan Oil - Sample size: 10 ml; Full size: 4 oz/$59 - A perfect compliment to any hair and skin care regimen, this Argan Oil is rich in Vitamin E and other beneficial fatty acids.  Non-greasy and specially formulated for rapid penetration, the oil brings a whole new level of shine and luster to even the most ravaged and damaged hair and skin. A bonus $100 Gift Certifiate towards professional styling tools and hair extensions is included.

Perfumies - Solid Perfume Stick - Femme Fatale - Full size: .07 oz/$7 - A perfect travel companion, these slender and elegant solid perfume sticks allow you to touch up your fragrance on the go.  These convenient perfume sticks have an all natural base, no preservatives, paraben-free and are never tested on animals.

Skin&Co Roma - Truffle Serum: Hydro-Toning Day Face Serum - Sample size: 15 ml/0.50 oz; Full size: 1.01 oz/$36 - Give your face a boost and slow down the signs of aging using this Italian serum infused with Peptides, pure extracts of Tuber Melanosporum and Hyaluronic Acid.  Use daily for brighter, more toned skin.

GLOSSYBOX Mag - Winter Edition - A mini-magazine with brief articles on Trends, Talk, Who's Who in Beauty, What's New, Star Style, Editor's Picks, and International Beauty.

Overall rating:  Booyah!  The variety of the contents was great and This was a great box jam-packed with goodies.  The Illamasqua pencil was a great surprise!