Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nordstrom's Holiday Picks for the Beauty Maven

 This holiday season Nordstrom has pulled together some of the industry's hottest picks and they're oh- so chic!  Nordstrom has even indulged us with a few Beauty Exclusives that are sure to satisfy every beauty lover's addiction.. let's check them out! 
$29.00 ($40.50 value)
An easy, portable way to get the ultimate customized lip color wherever you are! 
 Includes: 1 primer, 4 shades from natural to red and a full size lip brush.
(Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive)
Smashbox's signature brushes get a sparkly holiday make over!
Includes: powder brush, angled shadow brush, double ended shadow brush, double ended brow brush and lip brush.
(Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive)
$199 ($257 value)
Features the Mia 3 and a Cashmere Brush Head which massages away tough products on the skin and the Satin Precision Brush Head, which targets smaller areas of the face.
This is absolutely perfect for the beauty maven known to layer it on!
Trio Set $64.00 ($96.00 value)
Iridescent looking and soft, this gloss just screams elegance.
$48.00 ($64.00 value)
Includes 25 Hour Eye Shadow and Liner in Glamorous and Dramatic Lash Mascara.
The bare necessities for creating glamour girl eyes!

Debborah Lippman Holiday Gifting Duet: Glam Rock in Ruby Red Slippers Glitter Bag
(Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive)
Includes colors: Through the Fire: shimmery merlot and Ruby Red Slippers: glitter ruby
The picture perfect set to create the picture perfect holiday mani!
$50.00 ($83.00 value)
Includes shades: Daliquiri, Bare Pink, Whisper Sweetheart and Bonbon
Such a high shine finish, these gloss minis are too good not to have.

$55.00 ($107 value)
This sleek compact is travel friendly and contains everything you need for dolled up eyes, lips, and cheeks!

Philosophy Sending You Holiday Wished Hair and Lip Set
(Nordstrom beauty Exclusive)
Includes: limited edition duo featuring Christmas Cookie Shampoo, Shower Gel, and Bubble Bath and Sugar Sprinkles Lip Shine.

Eyeko Alexa Chung Eye Duo Mascara and Liquid Eyeliner Set
(Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive)
Style icon Alexa Chung has designed this award winning duo have you glammed up in seconds! 
$50.00 ($75.00 value)
 An oldie but always a goodie.  The classic D&G Light Blue will never go out of style.
Avocado, Olive & Basil
This pair is not only super moisturizing and deliciously scented, but their packaging is adorable and belongs on every Christmas tree!

 Volusoa Maison Holiday Sprice Cutting Candle
13 oz. $35.00
(Nordstrom Beauty Exclusive)
This "Little Black Device" is a petite, portable microcurent facial device for facial stimulation.
Have you started your holiday shopping yet?  Did any of these picks catch you eye?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Holiday Giveaway: Three Pairs of Happy Hands Nail Gloves Up for Grabs!

If you caught my latest Holiday Gift Guide for the Beauty Addict then there's no doubt you remember Happy Hands, one of my ultimate beauty favorites of all time.
 For all you beauties out there who are addicted to the salon perfect mani, (and let's be real, that's all of us), Happy Hands is one of those beauty essentials you should never be without.  Why?  Because while you're busy focusing on your cuticles, and shaping your nails and choosing the perfect color, have you given one thought to what's going to happen once you put those babies under the lights to dry?  Probably not.  
Studies are showing that the constant expose to the UV rays from the lights used to dry our nails before we walk out the door, are actually causing cancer.  I've heard several times the importance of applying sunscreen before getting a mani.  Crazy right?  But now, here's an ideal solution.  Happy Hands are the Original UV Nail Glove that shields your skin from 98% of the harmful UV rays emitted from nail lamps/dryers when getting your picture perfect manis. It is a product that adheres to all US Testing, FTC regulations and ASTM International Standards, and you want the cool news?  Three of you fabulous beauties out there are going to win a pair of your own!! :D I know, I know, you can't even handle it :P  Or if you chose, these make adorable stocking stuffers for any beauty lover, or nail addict on your list, and trust me- they'll totally appreciate this gift!

And if you're falling in love as we speak, just wait until after the new year when the brand debuts a brand new collection of Spring colors! 
This giveaway will run from Friday November 21, 2014 through Monday December 8, 2014 and is open to all US residents.     

Good luck darlings and enjoy!!!  Happy holidays xx
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 17, 2014

New Launch: Angela Cosmai Feel My Hair Collection

I don't typically color my hair (at least not often) but I was intrigued by the new Feel My Hair  collection from renowned colorist Angela Cosmai.  Advertised as beneficial for both color and non color treated hair, I decided to take PR up on their offer to try a few samples.   

Feel My Hair Line includes:
A mild, sulfate-free shampoo.  Pro-tec is a sodium sulfate and paraban free shampoo that gently cleanses the hair.  Essential nutrients restore the natural beauty of your hair and balance out deficiencies.  Works with all textures and color rerated hair.
Deep conditions dry, damaged and chemically treated hair in just 60 seconds.  Botanical extracts energize and revitalize depleted, stressed hair and produces exceptional manageability and a healthy luster.  Also contains a broad spectrum of sunscreen protection.
A botanical rich leave-in conditioner and softening balm.  Used as directed, it straightens and controls curly and frizzy hair for maximum manageability and shine.
Nourishing, aromatherapy packed spheres of vanilla bean conditioner, soothe and re-texturize.  Scientific innovation brings bio- nutrient vanilla beam conditioning deep into the hair follicle to provide renewed shine and optimum nourishment. 
Long & Strong is a revolutionary leave- in conditioner that increases flexibility to decrease damage during styling.  Great with a flat iron, it creates shine without weight.  Also detangles while it strengthens and smoothes.
It's rare I have success with almost an entire collection, but after a couple weeks of usage, I was pleased with just about all of the Feel My Hair products. 
 The shampoo's lather was amazing, and the formula was so lightweight that it left my scalp totally free of buildup.  I applied the conditioner to my ends only (I don't use conditioner on my scalp) and it made the tangles slip right out.  I could feel the texture of my hair change and get softer as soon as I started to work it through.   And I loved the vanilla scent!    
The detangler was my favorite hands down.  I used this daily because it made brushing my hair easier and less painful.  Plus, with the cold weather here, my flat iron is getting a work out, and this has helped smooth and prep my hair for the heat. 
I applied the Smooth leave in and straightening balm on the nights before I flat ironed, and when I woke up, my hair was really soft and a lot less frizzy.  It made my hair easier to deal with when tying to straighten and get that sleek effect.  This one yummy fruity scent :p  
Even though the vanilla bean treatment smelled like pure heaven, it was a bit too intense for my hair.  This was no surprise as I've had trouble with aromathereapy products in the past.  I'm still not sure why but usually they end up drying my hair out more, instead of quenching it.  I'm starting to wonder if my hair isn't dry enough and in turn the products have the opposite effect.  I suppose it's a mystery.    
Overall I really loved the "Feel My Hair" line and would definitely repurchase.  A nice benefit is that you can buy the whole collection in travel size for $35.  It gives you a chance to try the collection and determine which (or all) of the products right for you, without breaking the bank.      
Have you tried "Feel My Hair"?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Review: Carmex Lip Balm

Carmex lip balm has single handedly turned my world upside down.  I've never tried Carmex until now, and now I have, I don't know how I got along without it.  I've raved about other balms in the past, and Carmex has me questioning all of them.  
My lips always feel dry and I go through lip balms like tissues, no matter what season it is.  I don't attribute the dryness to anything particular, I think my lips are just extremely sensitive.  Ironically, my biggest complaint isn't that dry, uncomfortable feeling.  I have plenty of balms that soothe it away.  My biggest issue is the unattractive, flaky appearance that even exfoliators can't seem to get rid of.  The worst is when I have to pass on fabulous matte lipsticks because they make it impossible to hide dry, patchy lips.       
Enter Carmex.  
Carmex sells in different forms: jars, tubes, and sticks, and when PR offered me a few samples to try, I was totally game.   
I started with the tube first and applied it before bed.  By the next morning I was heading off to work in my favorite matte, pink lipstick.  Crazy right?  The overnight transformation was incredible.  Not a single dry patch to be found.  Being that Carmex did in one night what many other balms haven't be able to do period, I was pretty shocked.         
.  Carmex has been around for over 75 years and the difference seems to be that Carmex actually heals, rather then just temporarily alleviates.  Both the jar and tube contain the "original" formula designed to relieve cold sores, as well as chapped lips. The two main ingredients are menthol and camphor, so naturally it created a cooling sensation on my lips.  The formula was nice and smooth and I was able to slick it on under any lipstick without it looking glossy, even though it's on the oilier side.  It's lightweight and I noticed it absorbed well because I wasn't reapplying ten times a day.  The scent isn't anything glamorous.  It's your standard mint aroma, but this makes it a good unisex option.  Great for both men and women.    
  I was excited to try the Strawberry flavor and realized Carmex sticks are unique.  They make a faint clicking noise as you turn the bottom knob to raise the balm up or down. I half expected the Strawberry to have the same menthol aroma as the jar, but its scent was actually sweet and very true to the advertised flavor. The formula was a bit different though, presumably because it was in stick form.  It felt creamier and thicker, but still had the same comforting, cooling sensation after application and was very moisturizing.  Designed for summer, it contains Broad Spectrum SPF 15, Sunscreen and is water resistant, but it's so effective that I would recommend it for use all year round.

The Pomegranate flavor is the latest and aside from the yummy new scent, it debuts Carmex's new "ultra smooth" formula and nine moisturizers.  The second I applied it I could feel a difference.  It was as if the formula melted as soon as it met the heat from my lips, and turned to pure silk.  It went on smoother then any lip product I own.  The scent is gorgeous, like all pomegranate products. I licked my lips to get a taste of the "sweet-tart-flavor", which wasn't bad or good.  It didn't taste like anything at first but had a slightly bitter after taste.

 Ultimately, I think Carmex is the be all end all to the balms in my collection.  I've stashed it in my purse, night stand, the office and make up bag so that I'll never be without it.  I even retired all my old balms to an "emergency" stash for when I run out, whose soul purpose will be only to hold me over until I buy more Carmex! 

Available at various retailers 
 Have you tried Carmex?  Were you as impressed with your experience as I was?  

Monday, November 10, 2014

New Launch: Xen Tan Ins-TAN-taneous

The first thing I noticed when I walked into the Xen Tan launch event was the gloriously tropical aroma.  That couldn't possibly be the tanner I wondered.. could it?  It totally was. 
Xen Tan Premium Sunless Tan products are popularly known for their heavenly scents.  Of the several I sampled, I could not detect even a trace of DHA.  They're designed to have a more olive undertone and utilize innovative ingredients like odor erasers and a time release complex to make them feel more like luxurious body creams then tanners.  
Xen Tan Ins-TAN-taneous
Retail: $38.00
Xen Tan's newest launch; Ins-TAN-taneous is truly one of a kind.  It applies in 60 seconds and sets 60 seconds later.  The formula is transfer- resistant and contains Xen Tan's trademark tropical scent with no processing odors.     
 Immediately after I unscrewed its top, I breathed in scents of sweet vanilla and coconut (while the seal was still on!).  I prepped the inside of my arm with a gentle exfoliator and got ready to do a test patch. 
Application was pretty standard.  Directions stated to rinse and then air dry the applicator mit before first use, (but I skipped that).  I was using the lotion for Med/Dark skin tones so the coloring guide was quite dark.  Typically, I would have been a bit timid with the application but a light layer of Ins-TAN-taneous is designed to appear "soft" so I went with it.  
I applied a small amount to the mit and gently swiped it over my skin like directed...      
 Ta-da!  A beautifully bronzed inner arm.  I have to admit it dried very quickly, and without any streaks.  It was dry to the touch after a minute or so, but to be sure I still waited another minute.  Dry as a bone.  Imagine that, completely dry in less then 2 minutes flat? 
I liked this application method better then other tanners.  Here, I was able to simply swipe the formula over my arm, rather then sit there rubbing it in using small circular motions.  This was much faster and as you can see, it's pretty even.  The contrast is more evident up by my wrist.  Surprisingly, I was pleased with the color.  I would still recommend purchasing the shade intended for your skin tone (mine is light), but I feel comfortable using a thin layer of this over my whole body.  On my skin it appeared a bit more bronzy then sun kissed (which is ideal for creating a sliming effect ;) 
I gave it the transfer test by rubbing my arm against an old white t-shirt and was impressed to see no residue on the shirt.  This was my first experience with Xen Tan and I'm not usually this impressed with tanners on the first try.  It is a luxury brand so the price point is somewhat high, but if you're a tanning addict, this is certainly my recommended investment.    
 Have you tried Xen Tan products?  Which one and what did you think?

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