And the Winner of the Monarch Beauty Giveaway Is…

The winner of my Monarch Beauty giveaway is Kami from Living Grace!  Congratulations Kami!  Send me a message at stephaniemora23@gmail.com to work out the details. 🙂

Thank you so much to each of you who participated!!!

Wishing you a great Tuesday,

Stephanie 

 

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Skin Tip: Quick Way to Depuff Your Eyes!

Placing two spoons in the fridge for 20 minutes and laying them across your eyes for a few minutes can help reduce any eye puffiness, not to mention if feels really refreshing.

See you next week readers and don’t forget that on Tuesday March 31, 2015 the winner of my giveaway will be announced.  In case you’re busy and missed it, get the scoop here.  There’s still time left! 🙂

Best Wishes,

Stephanie 

GlamGlow ThirstyCleanse Review!

 

 

 

 

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Hello readers!  I’m still feeling pretty drained from these allergies but I wanted to leave you with a review on a sample I received of the Glam Glow ThirstyCleanse Daily Hydrating Cleanser.

Described by GlamGlow as “a revolutionary Mud to Foam daily cleanser that combines the Power of Mud and the Performance of Foam for a NEW Daily Cleansing experience. THIRSTYCLEANSE™ transforms from a luxurious mud into a moisture-rich foaming lather to gently & effectively rinse away make-up, dirt & impurities while deeply moisturizing your skin. Designed For Men & Women of All Ages & All Skin Types. THIRSTYCLEANSE™ for a Super Hydrated Super Clean Complexion.”

My Brief Description

Coconut scented (reminiscent of a tanning lotion)

Tan colored

Initial creamy consistency upon application

Foams up when water is applied

My Take At First Glance

Before trying this, I was skeptical on how this mud to foam cleanser could be moisturizing.  After all, it contains sodium cocoamphoacetate, which when I researched found it to be a surfactant that causes a product to foam; this product also incorporates kaolin clay which is best used on oily skin types, due to its oil absorbing properties.  I had read good reviews though, so I put this information on the backburner and  decided to try it.

My Experience

Initially when I tried this, I was surprised by how creamy the product was when I applied it.  I had some glimmers of hope that this pleasantly scented cleanser might just be hydrating after all.  After I rinsed it off, my skin felt nice but unfortunately, this was short lived.  About 3 minutes later, my skin felt so dry and tight even after I applied my toner and moisturizer.  I added another layer of moisturizer and it helped somewhat but by morning, my skin had soaked up all the moisturizer, leaving my skin feeling very dry. (For the record, I have a combination skin type which you can learn about by clicking here.) I was able to squeeze about four uses out of this sample.  For my last use, I decided to try something out.  I also received a sample of Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask which is a hydrating night treatment and decided to apply this and leave overnight after using the ThirstyCleanse.  Well, my skin apparently soaked that up all too. 😦

Final Thoughts

Normally, I give products about a month or so to come up with my final verdict but this is one exception.  This product is best suited for someone who has very oily skin but even at that, I wouldn’t suggest this as a daily cleanser as I found it to be far too stripping.  I would use this no more than 2 times per week if you’re oily.  Dry, sensitive, normal and combination should skip this one entirely.

Was this article helpful? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Stephanie 

 

 

 

 

Lip Products Under $10!

Drugstore Lippes!

Hello readers and good morning!  Well, at least on my side of the world it’s morning. 🙂  Hope all of you are doing well!  I’ve been sick off and on for the past month or so and I feel like this year, it’s been brutal.  I think I’m battling allergies now and I just cannot wait until this is over with.  Anyone else feel the same way?

Any who, on to the task at hand.  Today’s review is all about lip products under $10.  Now, as much as I love my higher end lip products- Bite Beauty and Tom Ford, I’m looking at you- there are some pretty amazing ones at a much more affordable cost.  And let’s face it, when you have great products that don’t cost a lot, you can buy multiple colors and save that money for, ahem, other makeup items. Charlotte Tilbury anyone?  🙂

Below are my reviews.

NYX Butter Gloss BLG05 Creme Brulee

NYX Butter Gloss

 

Described by NYX as “buttery soft and silky smooth, our scrumptious new Butter Lip Gloss tastes as sweet as a sugar cookie—and makes your lips look downright luscious. Swipe it on alone or over your favorite lipstick for creamy sheer to medium coverage that melts onto your lips and is never sticky.”

Pros

Smell nice

Not sticky

Great color selection

Affordable price range

Cons

Not long-lasting (wears off quickly when drinking or eating

Bottom Line: I love these glosses alone or layered underneath lipstick.  The scent isn’t over powering and in my opinion very comparable to some of MAC’s Cremesheen lipglosses at about half the cost.

 

NYX High Voltage Lipstick HVLS 18 Free Spirit

NYX High Voltage

 

Described by NYX as amping “up your look with our High Voltage lipstick! Each of the 22 dramatic shades is infused with vibrant color with a super-rich finish!

Pros 

Highly pigmented

Affordable cost

Slightly moisturizing

Cons

Can be a bit drying as time goes on

Has a tendency to accentuate fine lines/dry lips

Bottom Line: A great item from NYX if you’re looking for excellent color payoff.  Color begins to fade a bit while eating or drinking but leaves behind a good stain.  Exfoliating lips prior to use is a must though to avoid it clinging to any dry patches.

 

Milani Color Statement Moisture Matte Innocence

 

Milani

 

Described by Milani as “the matte that not only feels great (yes, you read that right – it’s actually comfy) but also lasts for hours and has “a-mazing Instagram selfie” written all over it. Infused with grape seed extract imported from Italy, this smear-proof lip soother delivers mega color that won’t budge, even after a close encounter with a cappuccino cup.”

Pros 

Affordable

Feels creamy upon application

Lasts a decent amount of time

Great color selection

Cons

This shade is pretty light so I need multiple layers to get coverage

Accentuates fine lines/dry lips

Bottom Line: This shade looks best when paired with a lipgloss.  It lasts better than most lipsticks through drinking but I wouldn’t classify this is long-lasting.  The texture is very unique and very similar (if not identical) to Maybelline Mattes.  Feels creamy upon application instead  of the usual dry texture most mattes have but not exactly moisturizing.  Exfoliating lips is a must prior to use.

NYX Matte Lipstick MLS 05 Indie Flick

 

NYX Matte

 

Described by NYX as “highly pigmented, richly formulated and long-wearing. The formula glides on smoothly and stays put with a non-drying matte finish.”

Pros

Highly pigmented

Excellent staying power

Affordable price

Cons

Drying

Accentuates fine lines, dry lips

Bottom Line: I bought this lipstick after seeing it on Janet from Jan and Jot and I am so glad I did.  Not only is a gorgeous shade-perfect for spring and summer-but it is immensely pigmented and very long lasting. I do find this more on the drying side though, so sometimes I’ll sheer it out with lip balm underneath and make sure to exfoliate lips beforehand.

Rimmel London Kate Moss

 

Rimmel London

 

Described by Rimmel as “Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Collection Lipstick gives the gorgeous color richness and comfort of Kate’s lipstick, now in a velvety, matte finish. Ruby powder-enriched formula intensifies the color while keeping a matte finish all day long.”

Pros

Highly pigmented

Very affordable

Leaves behind a stain

Long-lasting

Cons

Feels drying after a while

Settles into fine lines/accentuates dry lips

Prominent scent that lingers

Bottom Line: Another product I bought after I saw it on Chanelle Hayley from Chanelle Hayleyyy . The color is beautiful and sophisticated and I love the staying power.  I do not mind the scent at all, sort of floral mixed with berries, but it is strong and you can definitely smell it while you’re wearing it; it does fade after a while though.

Maybelline Color Sensational Summer Sunset

Maybelline

 

Described by Maybelline as “crisper color from pure pigments; creamier feel from nourishing honey nectar; lipcolor so rich, so stunning…it’s sensational.”

Pros

Highly pigmented

Long-lasting

Affordable

Extensive shade selection

Cons

Feels a little bit waxy

Not as hydrating as it claims

Can feel a bit drying at times

Clings to dry patches

Bottom Line: I do like these but I will be honest and say I am not fond of the texture.  It feels a bit too waxy to me as opposed to creamy but using a lip balm underneath helps.  Worn alone it has great staying power and there are so many shades to choose from.

Below are the colors swatched and make sure to follow me on Instagram to see more pictures and looks using these colors. 🙂

Swatches Lippies

L to R: Creme Brulee, Free Spirit, Matte Innocence, Indie Flick, KM 107, Summer Sunset

Thank you for reading and let me know what your favorite under $10 lipsticks/lipglosses are! 

Stephanie 

 

Skin Tip: Ingredient Lists and Antioxidants!

It’s Friday readers and that means my weekly skin tip! 🙂

Those of you that have been following my blog for a while now know that I am a huge advocate for antioxidants in skincare ingredients, especially vitamin C.  However, if you happen to read the label and see that the antioxidants are listed towards the bottom of the list, chances are they were added to preserve the product and not intended to be active ingredients.  Sometimes, this could be the reason why a certain product that claims to ‘fade spots’ or ‘help brighten your look’ isn’t as effective as you would like it to be. For a guide on how to decipher other names for antioxidants vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E, click on each link.

Have a great weekend everyone and don’t forget to check out my giveaway by clicking here. 🙂

Stephanie 

Hair Haul!

Hair Haul

Hi readers, it’s Thursday-yay! I feel like the days are zooming by right now.  Hope all of you are doing well.

I have a few hair products I’m reviewing today so let’s get to it. 🙂

*Side note: I just realized some pictures came out a bit darker than I thought so apologies in advance!

HairGia

HairGia Keratin Hydrating Masque; $24.99

Described as: “Moisturizing deep conditioner with keratin proteins for dry, damaged and chemically treated hair. This hair mask can be used daily as your regular conditioner or on a weekly basis as a deep conditioning mask treatment.”

Pros

Deeply hydrating and great after color treating hair

Smoother hair appearance and straightening hair is easier after using this

Paraben, sulfate, and cruelty free

Vegan

Color and keratin treatment safe

Cons

Fragrance is overpowering

Due to its thick consistency, sometimes the product is hard to dispense

Bottom line: I really love this conditioner as much as the Macadamia Nut Deep Conditioner.  My only complaints would be the smell which although isn’t bad is overpowering-kind of floral like.  Also, there is an ingredient in here that makes my body itch if I use it on  regular basis so I personally limit use to about 1x per week.

Oribe Text

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray; $22

Described as: “Bigger, better, full-on glamorous hair. This invisible dry hair spray builds in incredible volume and sexy texture. Patented polymers absorb oil at the roots, leaving you with just-styled hair for days (and nights).”

Pros

Available in travel/purse size

Smells amazing

UV protection

Provides texture

Color and keratin treatment safe

Invisible spray-sprays clear

Good for holding styles

Cons

A little on the pricey side

Does not absorb oil

Doesn’t provide shine

Bottom line: I like this product as a styling product as it provides texture but I wouldn’t recommend it as a dry shampoo since it doesn’t absorb oil very well.  This and the Oribe Apres Beach Wave and Shine Spray are great when I style my curly hair.

Oribe Surf

Oribe Surfcomber Tousled Texture Mousse; $22

Described as:  “Sexy, surfed-in hair is no longer the domain of beachgoers in their tropical climes. Texturize your locks with this hydrating mousse that creates perfectly imperfect separation for that effortlessly tousled look.”

Pros

Available in travel/purse size

Color and keratin treatment safe

Good for creating piecey/tousled hair

Doesn’t leave that ‘crunch’ factor in hair

Smells good

Cons

Sticky texture and residue

Doesn’t provide shine

Hair feels very dry after use

Bottom line: I did not like this mousse at all.  I tried it both on wet hair and dry and I couldn’t get past the sticky residue left on both my hair and hands after use.  It defines curls and provides texture to straight hair but left the ends feeling and looking dry.  I wanted to like it but after many uses, it’s a no for me. 😦

Dry Bar

Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo; $12

Described as: “Prolong your blowout with Detox Dry Shampoo! It absorbs oils, impurities, and odor while providing body and fullness, leaving hair feeling fresh and clean. Lightweight and easy to use, the micro powder blends in perfectly with hair color, leaving no white residue behind.”

Pros

Safe for color and keratin treated hair

Available in trial/travel size

Affordable

Absorbs oil effectively

Provides volume

Great to use after the gym

Paraben, sulfate and phthalates free

Cons

There is a white residue left behind if you don’t work it into hair

Overpowering smell- you’ll either like it or hate it. I personally like it.

Bottom line: I had seen this reviewed in a couple of blogs before and I am so glad I tried it.  It’s a really great product that helps refresh your hair and prolongs your style.

Skin Food Olive

Skin Food Extra Virgin Olive Oil Hair Essence; $18

Described as: “ A hair treatment serum that contains refined extra virgin olive oil.  Calms unruly curls and frizzy hair while adding shine.”

Pros 

Adds shine

You can layer it without a greasy look or feel

Nice and subtle clean scent

Defines curls

Cons

Available in select Skin Food stores or online

Price fluctuates depending where you buy it from

Need quite a bit of product to add shine

Bottom line: I’ve purchased this product a few times already and I love it.  It does sometimes take a little bit more product use to add shine while I am straightening my hair but the end result is soft and smooth hair.

Hope you enjoyed this post!  What hair products are you currently loving?  Any recommendations? 

Stephanie