Wednesday, December 31, 2014

BeautyBox 5: December Reveal

Hello, Kittens, and a Happy New Year's to all!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!  The past weeks have been so busy that I didn't have time to share this month's Beauty Box 5 reveal until now.

This month's theme was super adorable and totally appropriate: "Happy Spa-lidays"!  

"With the hustle and bustle of the season, it's easy to put yourself on the back burner but sometimes a 15 minute indulgence is all it takes to lift your spirits.  Why should Santa have all the fun?  Here's some goodies to unwrap ... to brighten up your your complexion...".- As advertised by BB5

Shall we check out this month's beauty must haves?

Jaqua Bath & Body Collection
Retail: $18.00- 36.00

I was so excited to see this because I recently ran out of my last hydrating facial mist, and this one is even better because it is rose scented (my favorite <3).  

Absolute! New York Nail Polish Remover Pads
Retail: $2.99 (32 pads)

These are sure to come in useful- especially for when removing those New Year's glitter manis!  

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular Moisturizer
Retail: $65.00 1.7 fl oz. 

During these cold winter months you can never have enough moisturizers.  This is great because you can toss it in your purse and take it with you out the door. 

Nanacoco Nail Polish
Retail: $3.95 .05 fl

I'm usually not a glitter type of gal, but lately I've been wearing it a bit more.  Glitters are always a fun way to add a little umph to your look.   

Lucky Brand Lucky Number 6
Retail: $15.99- $60.00

I was surprised at how much I liked this scent!  I do not own any Lucky fragrances but Lucky Number 6 is a gorgeous cocktail of lotus, tiger lily, cashmere woods and jasmine notes.  The scent is soft, fresh and very feminine.  

Saw something that tickled your fancy?  Get in on Beauty Box 5 subscriptions here and start receiving hand picked industry faves at your doorstep.  


Sunday, December 21, 2014

Review: The Tulip Auto Curler by InStyler

If you haven't already tried the new Tulip Auto Curler by InStyler, prepare yourself.  It's advertised as a " lightweight, ergonomic, open barrel design with a groundbreaking dual rotating, ceramic barrel to crate natural, long lasting beautiful curls and waves", which of course sounds fabulous, but the question, is does it work?

Retail: $99.99
When I first set eyes on the Tulip Auto Curler at the launch event, I admit I was skeptical.  It's important to note that my hair is long, thick and naturally curly on its own, which can spell disaster with these auto tools.  Guests had the opportunity to try it out, and I was secretly glad that I was about to be supervised by a trained professional as I fed my hair into this slightly intimidating looking device.  Needless to say, I nervously sat down in the stylist's chair and watched her demo on a few strands.
The concept is pretty straightforward.  Place a one inch (no bigger) section of hair inside the slit marked with two gray dots, lay it to one side of the barrel, and press go.  Of course, you must also choose a heat setting, a timer setting and a direction setting, but all of that depends on the type of curl you want to create:  beachy waves, soft, loose curls, medium body curls, or tighter ringlets.   
- 2 Way Heated Rotating Barrel to help smooth hair and reduce frizz
- Open Barrel to maintain visibility of your hair while operating the device
- Cool Touch Safety Guard to allow for placement at the root without burning yourself
 3 Rotations Settings to allow for changing the direction of your curls from right, left, and "auto" (which alternates from L-R on its own after each curl).
- Timer Switch- Timer settings of 3, 8, and 12 seconds 
- 3 Heat Settings up to 430 degrees Fahrenheit  
- Power Indicator Light
- Auto Safety Shut Off
Twenty minutes later, I had tried about three sections on my own, and the stylist had went ahead and finished my entire head.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, which is why I won't babble on about my amazement and overall satisfaction with the end result.  But I will say this: it's a pretty awesome tool and if you want curls, you should probably try it.  My hair was bouncy, glossy, super soft, all of the above.    
It's important to state though, that the few sections I did on my own, proved this was definitely something I was going to need practice on before being able to achieve this look by myself. I would recommend setting aside some time to play around with it, and not waiting until 20 minutes before you have to leave for work (like yours truly).  My issues were selecting the correct amount of hair to use, and then being able to line it up well enough to insert it between the gray dots. 
Easy fixes:  
1.) The "Sectioning Petal": A piece of cardboard with a slit in it to use as a guide.  The amount of hair you can fit through its slit should be the same amount you insert into the device.
2.) Practice.  The more I played with it, the easier it got.  (I'm still mastering the back of my head) but the good news is, its pretty impossible to get any hair caught. It detects immediately if hair is tangled and the barrel will automatically stop spinning so you can free your hair and keep it from burning. 
The various settings are fun because they let you create different types of curls.  But what I found really cool was the booklet demonstrated how unique placement of the hair around the barrel creates  more intricately styled curls (ie; the "Swirl Curl"), for when you have become more comfortable with the device. Fancy huh? :p 
Final thoughts? I'm sold.  As a girl who likes to work some sassy barrel curls, the Tulip Auto Curler makes the cut.



Saturday, December 13, 2014

Review: Mënaj Clear Shave 3-in-1

Menaji Clear Shave 3-in-1
Retail: $10.00
1 fl oz.

Back in October, Menaji Skincare for men launched their latest must have product for the guy on your list this holiday season!  The Clear Shave 3-in-1  is a completely clear shaving gel that is designed for use everywhere a guy might need: his face, head and chest.  At first I wondered, why clear?  Well... clear shaving gel makes it easier for the guy to shape his beard, mustache, sideburns etc. because this way he can actually see the areas he's hitting. Ding! (light bulb). 
PR was kind enough to send me a sample to work with, which I tested around my ankle.  It certainly applied crystal clear and see through, but as a girl, the real beauty of it was that it didn't require water.  It produced an ultra close, dry shave, and left my skin feeling surprisingly smooth.  The razor didn't drag and the formula proved quite soothing and gentle on my skin.  No razor burn or bumps afterwards, which I attributed to the botanical- based formula that nourishes the skin.  The scent was woodsy and masculine, but fairly light and died down after rinsing off. 
The 3-in-1breakdown:
1.) Pre-Shave -- gel conditions and preps skin & hair for close, comfortable shave
2.) Shave -- unique ingredient blend provides effortless shave -- helps razor glide over skin for an easy, smooth shave
3.) Post-Shave -- botanical extracts serve as a natural toner to prevent ingrown hairs and avoid razor burn
 After shaving, I applied the Aftershave Hydrator over the area.  This stuff was ah-MAZ-ing.  The scent is a yummy citrus flavor, which again dies down quickly. I felt an immediate cooling sensation after application, and it made my skin feel softer and healthier.  Considering all this was done on just my ankle, I can only imagine how glowing it would make the skin on one's face.  It's formula contains antioxidant botanicals, Chamomile, Vitamin E, Grapefruit Peel, Green Tea, and organic Aloe.   

I also got to check out the Face & Body Scrub and Deep Cleansing Masque.  The face & body scrub is an exfoliator designed to help unclog pores, remove dead skin, and smooth any rough patches.  It uses a certified blend of organic lime peel oil,  jojoba, ginseng, kelp, azulene and aloe.  The Cleansing Masque is supposed to be the only clay mask out there that deals with the higher oil production in men's skin.  It works to remove dirt and minimize pores, using a formula made with vitamins A, C, E, anti-oxidants, natural clays & botanicals. 
Even though I'm not a guy and I don't have oily skin, I was dying to try out the Cleansing Masque.  I can say that of all the clay masques I've ever applied, this went on the easiest.  I used an amount about the size of a pea, and it just glided on all over.  And I noticed as it dried, that I didn't get that tightening feeling- which was a nice change!  Not sure if that meant I didn't apply enough or what.  But I know one thing: when I rinsed it off, my skin was as smooth as can be!       
Overall, a totally luxe experience with Mënaj.  Make sure you snag him a few of these goodies this season!
Shop the line here 
Also available at Nordstrom 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Holiday Stocking Stuffer: Susan Posnick Cosmetics Holiday Gift Pack

No holiday look is complete without a sexy set of eyes, and the Susan Posnick Cosmetics Holiday Gift Pack has you covered.  For the entire month of December, you can snag this luxe gift pack ($75.00 value) and use it to effortlessly vamp up your look for the season. 
Retail: $49.95

Gift Pack includes:
- Mesh Bag and includes
- COLORCOATED lash enhancing mascara
- COLOREYEDEFINE eyeshadow and eyeliner in Platinum and Gold
The new COLORCOATED Mascara is formulated to promote lash growth and has been meticulously formulated over a 2 year period. The formula is described as long lasting and water-resistant, and its brush is a unique double-twist brush that is supposed to separate, lengthen and thicken lashes with ease.   
Being the mascara addict that I am, I was happy to try this one out.  Low and behold, it's become the latest staple in my morning beauty routine.  I love, love, love the formula, the applicator, the color, and well, everything! 
It may sound strange, but the first thing I noticed was how effortless the application felt.  Not that applying mascara is difficult, but within seconds I was seeing the effect I wanted.  When I apply mascara, I like to put the applicator right up against the root of my lashes, blink into it (hard), and push my lashes upward.  The thinness of the brush made this incredibly easy.  It did a really awesome job of lengthening and separating them, just as it advertised.  The formula is ultra lightweight and dries really fast (which personally, I prefer).  Because the brush is easy to maneuver, I noticed it did a decent job of minimizing the amount of usual series of black dots I end up with all over my eye shadow.  Since it's so light, and water resistant, it doesn't smudge off.  It held up pretty well through a long day's work, followed by an evening work out at the gym.  So I have to say, this is by far my latest fave on the market.  I always have success with this brand!

  • Fortifying complex conditions and helps stimulate lash enhancement
  • Unique double-twist wand for precise application
  • Water-resistant formula won’t smear or smudge
  • Never flakes or clumps during application
  • Hypoallergenic, paraben-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free
 I also tried (and loved) the EYECOLORDEFINE Eyeliner/Eyeshadow in Platinum/Gold.  This color is perfect for the holiday season!  The double sided applicator comes with a beautiful shimmery gold shadow and a soft, platinum liner.  The color combo is a great for brightening up your eyes and making them really sparkle without looking too overdone.  The shadow is actually inside the cap that screws off, and you apply it with the sponge applicator that screws into it.  The texture felt kind of like a liquid power and the best results was when I layered.  The coverage is buildable so for me, I needed the extra intensity.  But one or two applications will leave you with a subtle, more natural look.   
L-R: Gold Eyeshadow. Platinum Eyeliner
The liner had cool texture, almost like a creamy, gel-like powder.   It went on nice and smooth.  The applicator was angled, which was nice because it gave you the option to make you desired line thin or thick.  I liked this because it made it that much easier to place it where I wanted without any mess or do overs. Overall, another fabulous run with Susan Posnick Cosmetics.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas for Him: RITUALS Urban Samurai Collection

Just in time for the holidays, RITUALS has released its brand new Urban Samurai grooming collection for men and there's so many must have products!  The line was inspired by the ancient Japanese Samurai warriors who were known for taking great pride in their appearance and whose looks often reflected power, control and confidence.  Applying this to the modern day rituals of the urban man, the collection features 22 amazing new skin and body care products.  All of which are sure to have him oooing and ahhing this season!   


Samurai After Shave
Retail: $25.00
This refreshing gel immediately transforms into a watery lotion which is quickly absorbed into the skin. Enriched with Japanese Basil and Tiger Grass, that refreshes and cools the skin and gives the skin a fresh tingle. Also contains Aloe Vera to nourish the skin and helps to reduce redness.

Samurai Anti- Age
Retail: $45.00 50 ml
Samurai Anti-Age face cream contains Japanese Shiso and an Active Botanical Anti-Age Complex to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, while nourishing and hydrating the skin to keep the skin strong and protected. Enriched with a powerful Peptide complex to reduce wrinkles and Dipalmitoyl to prevent wrinkles while Hyaluronic acid increases the skins hydration level. This nourishing cream leaves a silky soft layer on the skin and hydrates your skin.
Samurai Cleanse
Retail: $15.00 150 ml
Samurai Cleanse is an easy to use facial cleanser enriched with the purifying properties of Wakame and Japanese Bamboo for fast fresh results.

Samurai Magic Shave
Retail: $29.00 300 ml
Samurai Magic shave is a 2-in-1 mild & caring shaving cream that makes shaving easy and achieves an ultra-smooth result. This rich and moisturizing cream provides extra protection and care of the skin during and after shaving. A combination of the ancient Japanese ingredients of Ginseng and Basil which has nourishing and calming effects.

Samurai Scrub
Retail: $15.00 125ml
This foaming scrub gel contains natural silica with scrub particles which smooths the skin and removes dead skin cells. Enriched with the purifying properties of Japanese Wakame and Bamboo that gives a fresh complexion and a smooth shave. This scrub also releases ingrown hairs, restores the softness of the skin and leaves it looking refreshed.

Samurai Shave Gel
Retail: $10.00 150 ml
Samurai Shaving gel immediately transforms into a rich foam for an enjoyable shaving experience that achieves the best shaving result and a fresh complexion. Enriched with Japanese Basil and Ginseng which softens the hairs for an easy shave and leaves the skin extremely smooth.

Samurai Shave Repair
Retail: $25.00 100 ml
This calming after shave lotion contains Japanese Basil and Tiger Grass which moisturises and helps the skin to relax. Aloe Vera nourishes the skin and helps to reduce redness to skin that’s been irritated by shaving. It leaves the skin calm and hydrated.

Samurai Cool Hair
Retail: $19.00 250 ml
Samurai Cool Hair shampoo strengthens the hair and regulates moisture balance of the hair and Scalp. It keeps the hair in optimum condition and gives a natural gloss! Based on Sea Minerals that hydrate the scalp and Japanese Mint refreshes and stimulates. Contains a gentle cleanser with an anti-dandruff action.

Samurai Cool Scrub
Retail: $17.00 150 ml
This 2-in-one shower and mud scrub is a combination of Volcanic Clay base, ultra-fine Bamboo and Wakame which provides a supple and elastic skin. It removes dead skin cells and stimulates the circulation leaving the skin looking revitalised and fresh.

Samurai Shower
Retail: $15.00 200 ml
Shower gel based on soothing Cedar wood and softening Organic Bamboo extract. On contact with water, it transforms into a rich nourishing foam with refreshing fragrance to cleanse the entire body in an ultra-soft way.

Samurai Bath
Retail: $19.00 500 ml 
This relaxing, rich and creamy soft foam, enriched with natural extracts which cleans and refreshes the skin. Organic Bamboo and Wakame helps to keep the skin supple and hydrated.

Samurai Ice Shower
Retail: $15.00 200 ml
Shower gel based on soothing Cedar wood and softening Organic Bamboo extract. On contact with water, it transforms into a rich nourishing foam with refreshing fragrance to cleanse the entire body in an ultra-soft way.  I myself gave this a whirl and LOVED it.  It gives the skin an instant blast of freshness and its scent is so light that I would feel completely comfortable slathering this on, even though it's for a man. 

Shop the collection here!
Are you still stumped on what to buy him?  Are you interested in any of the Samurai products?
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