Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Nail art: pink and white for Breast Cancer Awareness month

I have a new nail art design for you all! I've been crazy busy all summer and didn't have a chance to do anything beauty or blog-related with school and work, but this semester my goal is to be doing a nail design every week (except for when I have interviews). So far, so good! 

As you probably know, it's breast cancer awareness month! I've done a design for BCA every other year (20112013) and this one is no different. I hope you like it! Personally it was one of my favorite designs I've done in awhile (I have a few more that will show up in the next couple of weeks), and super easy. 

The polishes that I used. The white is Essie Pink Diamond, and the pink is Essie Blanc. The nail art pen is from Sally Hansen. If I were to re-do this design, I probably would not have used either of those polishes. They're pretty colors, but Pink Diamond is a frosty pink, so it shows flaws. It took me like 3-4 coats to make it look pretty even. The white was the same way. And the nail art pen was not great, but it was a little bit better than if I was using a striper polish. I got the nail art pen from a friend, so no loss there, but I'm not sure if I'll buy more of the line. 

Onto the design! To do this design, first paint 2-3 coats of Pink Diamond on all nails except for your ring finger. (Like I said, it took me more coats, but just because it wasn't painting evenly for me). Do french tips with the Essie Blanc, either freehand or using a guide if you need to. (I don't have any guides, but it would make it a lot neater.) Paint your ring finger with 2-3 coats of Essie Blanc. After it's dry, use the nail art pen (or a nail art brush and a darker pink) to draw the ribbon. I use Seche Vite as a top coat because I am impatient and don't like to wait for my nails to dry, but definitely wait to put the top coat on your ring finger until the ribbon is mostly dry. I did not, and accidentally dragged the pink around the white polish, and I had to go in with a nail art brush and touch it up. 

And that's it! Like I said, it's a really simple design and you could really do it for any of the cancer ribbons. Next week my design is simple too, but sticking with the Breast Cancer Awareness month theme. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Product Review: Violife Slim Sonic Toothbrush

I have THE coolest thing to review today. I love it. It is cute, stylish, and functional. Not to mention super pretty. And did I mention how good it looks?? 

It's Violife's slim sonic electric toothbrush. First, just follow the link and go to the website and admire the snazzy designs that they have. Warning: you might want to immediately get one in every style, like I do. Mine is called Mirage and the pictures don't do it justice on how bright and fun it is. I might stop collecting nail polish and move on to these toothbrushes. 

On to more details than just how beautiful it is. This is the back of the box, which just highlights some of the neat features that the Slim Sonic Toothbrush has, like being lightweight and ultra-compact, easy to use (push-button activation), and convenient! 

The slim sonic toothbrush comes with what's shown in the picture: an instruction manual, the brush with case, one free brush head, and a battery. On the website, it's $14.95 with free shipping in the U.S., and when I first visited the site, a coupon for 10% off popped up as long as you join the mailing list! So you can get it for under $15! It comes with one brush head, and I dug around and found a pack of 4 extra heads is $9.95. 

The toothbrush next to its cap. I only found a couple of other travel electric toothbrushes, like an Arm & Hammer one, but it was around the same price as the Violife Slim Sonic Toothbrush. For the same price, I'd rather get the one that looks beautiful in my bag. The lid is a nice touch because you know that, wherever you store it (I put it in my makeup bag that goes everywhere with me), it will be kept clean. 

And this is why it was listed as convenient. It is just a little bit longer than a pen, and it's not that thick. It is roughly the same size as a tube of mascara. It can go anywhere with you, and look amazing while doing it. My only qualm is that I wish it was a little more powerful, I do use this a few times a week, but I definitely wouldn't make it my everyday toothbrush (which I think is the point. It's good if you're coming from the gym, or lunch back to work or school as a quick freshen-upper.) 

For under $15, I'd definitely buy it again. Especially with all of the designs that they have! They also have a Destinations Design series that is super cute. High school graduations are coming up, and I can definitely picture myself giving these as part of a gift. (And no, I'm not a square for giving toothbrushes! Most of the gifts that I give are makeup, beauty, or nail polish related. And this toothbrush would be totally cute in a travel kit gift!) 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review: Lauren B. Beauty Nail Couture


Today, I'm reviewing two polishes from Lauren B. Beauty.  I had never heard of this brand, but I love to try out new nail polish brands and I'm glad that I did. Here's a little info about the brand and the polishes:
Lauren B. Beauty Nail Couture is a collection of everything you need for a salon quality, do-it yourself manicure that lasts for 2 weeks without chipping or fading. These on-trend colors inspired by the city of Los Angeles. All of the formulas are eco-and vegan-friendly, contain no harsh chemicals, and are proudly crafted right in the U.S. These polishes stay true to the pigment that you see in the bottle and require just one coat! From base to color to topcoat, the groundbreaking treatment system is good for your nails and highly functional and fashionable for the modern woman.
Just reading that, I was eager to try it. More and more nail polish lines are becoming eco-friendly and vegan-friendly, so it's exciting that this one is, too.

The backs of the bottle have a little more information about the polishes. They are "5-Free," no formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, or camphor. 

It's also cruelty free! 

The fronts of the bottle. Each bottle is .50 fl oz. A beautiful glass  bottle with a shiny black cap. The font is cute, and the whole bottle just looks classy! From their website, they have a lot of nail polishes in mostly bright colors that are gorgeous. I just want to get all of them!

Nude No. 2. On the website, it's described as "a champagne hue sweetened with a hint of honey." They have five different nude shades for sale, and this one managed to perfectly fit my skin tone! I hate most neutral polishes, because they very rarely match my skin and usually make my hands look just plain weird. Plus, I love colors. This is one that will definitely become a favorite of mine when I become a professional and have to start wearing neutral-colored polishes. It's a favorite of mine right now! It applied very smoothly, the picture is after two coats. The site says that you can do one coat, which is doable because it's quite opaque, but two coats makes it perfect.

L.A. Smog. The website describes it as "A hazy pale grey with dusty blue undertones – soft, ethereal and exceedingly cool."

I loved it from the first brushstroke. This grey is right up my alley! I would not consider it a pale grey because it's actually pretty dark and reminds me of my former favorite grey, Sally Hansen Gunmetal. But this one applied so smoothly (although it definitely needed two coats). I applied it second after swatching some other polishes because I knew, just from looking at the bottle, that I would love it. Maybe not the most spring-y color, but I think you can never have enough grey toned polishes.

So the polishes themselves. A bottle is $18, which is a little bit more expensive than Butter London (my former standard for high brand nail polish), but this one is amazing quality. I've had L.A. Smog on my nails for four days and it hasn't chipped yet. It applies smoothly, because "the brush is packed with twice the standard amount of bristles." The colors are beautiful, and so is the bottle. I would definitely re-purchase and in fact, I've already been going through the website for polishes to add to my wishlist.

(This product was sent to me for review, but all thoughts and reviews were mine. There are no affiliate links in this post).

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Celsius "Flo Fusion" Pre-Workout On-the-go formula

I have a pretty cool product to review today. Most of the things that I receive to review are make-up or nail polish related, but this one is more health than beauty. It is the Celsius Flo Fusion Energy Drink. It comes in Orange flavor (on the left) and Berry flavor (on the right). 

I've never been one to try out pre-workout powder shakes or drinks because they usually 1) don't taste good, 2) require a blender, blender bottle, or something similar to mix it well and 3) are a hassle to make. The last time that I had a huge jar of some kind of weight loss aid/workout booster formula powder, it cost me $40 and after a few weeks of using it, I felt no different. Then, to top it off, my dog thought that the giant tub was a toy and spilled it everywhere. So, I was out $40 for a supplement that was a waste of money. 

That's why this Flo Fusion is awesome. It comes in these on-the-go packets, so you don't have to worry about a huge mess, measuring anything out, etc. Plus, it dissolves into water very easily. I could even see tossing a few packets into your gym bag so that as long as you have a bottle of water, you can always have your pre-workout drink. 

Each packet is 0.18 oz. and just needs 12-16 ozs of water. I have poured the powder into a plastic water bottle before and just shook it to mix it up, and it works perfectly. It makes it so convenient. And, as the boxes say, it has "No sugar, no high fructose corn syrup, no aspartame, no preservatives, no artificial colors or flavors, and is low sodium." This should be exactly the kind of thing that you want to put in your body before a work out.

I tried both the Berry and the Orange flavor, and personally, I liked the orange flavor better, just because I usually like that flavor. I went in expecting the berry to have an artificial grape after taste (think children's cough medicine), but I was pleasantly surprised. It was not bad! Obviously, it was nothing like eating real berries, but I did not mind drinking it (which only added to helping me get into the habit of drinking it before a workout.)

The back of the boxes have all of the information on why the Flo Fusion is a good choice for a pre-workout formula:

  • Burns 100 calories & more
  • Results in a greater fat loss 
  • Provides healthy energy
  • Is vitamin enriched
  • Clinically proven
  • Increases fat loss 
  • Increases endurance
  • Increases cardio fitness

These last three bullet points are touted by most weight loss drink aids, so I've become wary of listening to them. However, I was determined to give it a good try, and so I diligently drank one packet a day (you can drink two a day if you want) before my workout, for three weeks. I didn't want to just do it for one week or a couple of days, and I definitely didn't want the placebo effect. I kept my workout schedule the same, drank the same amount of water every day as I had done before I started drinking, etc. so that the only thing that was changing was that I was adding one packet of Flo Fusion into my pre-workout routine.

The result: it definitely did give me more energy. Usually I would be dying about forty minutes in and trying to convince myself it was a good reason to stop, but as I kept drinking the Flo Fusion, I noticed that I wasn't thinking about ways to skip out early. I don't count calories so I can't comment on whether or not it actually burns 100 calories.

But when I started drinking the Flo Fusion, I had been working out and eating healthy as normal for awhile, with no change in my weight (a bit of a plateau). I do think that the Flo Fusion helped to kick start the weight loss for me again, and I lost 1 lb per week that I was drinking it. Slow, but steady! I was just happy that it was moving down and not staying still or, God forbid, moving up!

Would I rebuy?

Definitely. I think it's cool to finally have a supplement that is good for me and solves all of the problems that had been keeping me back from drinking pre-workout drinks beforehand. It's very convenient and super portable. It tastes great. It actually works for me (!!!). The price is right.

The orange flavor comes in a box of 14 packets for $11.38 through Amazon, while the berry flavor is $15.23 for a box of 14 packets. While scrolling through their Amazon store, I see that they also have a canister of the orange and the berry flavors, so if you're looking to buy it in bulk (which takes away the convenience, but could be more cost effective), they also sell it that way! I do think the on-the-go packets give you the chance to try it out though to see how it works for you.

(This product was sent to me for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own and I received no compensation. The amazon links listed in the post are NOT affiliate links.)

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nordic Beauty Broad Spectrum SPF 30 CC cream

Today I'm reviewing a product that I've been testing for the past month and a half. It is Nordic Beauty's Anti-Aging Collagen Peptide Broad Spectrum SPF 30 CC Cream

First, the packaging. I love the look of this jar, it's just so neat and the white base with the grey lid looks beautiful on my vanity. The packaging is solid and sturdy, you don't have to worry about dropping and breaking it. The only, only complaint that I have is that if you ever run out, it seems like it might be difficult to get to all of the CC cream, as it could get into the corners. I think my spatula will be able to do it though, so this is really only a problem if you only take the cream out with your fingers (which I don't recommend, by the way, because your hands have a lot of germs on them that you're transferring to the cream. It's best to use a makeup spatula. 

Then the company. The front of the CC cream has a small pink Breast cancer awareness ribbon that proudly states "we give 10%." The website says:

"Nordic Beauty donate 10% of our annual net revenues to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation and Susan G. Komen Organization. We want to support our family and friends that we love and care for."

I love to support brands that donate a portion of the proceeds to charity, so this is pretty neat. 


All of the ingredients that are marked with an asterisk are certified organic. Note the part on the bottle that says: "Pure Essential Oils | NON GMO | Gluten Free | Not Tested on Animals" and the list of yucky stuff that is NOT found in this CC cream, such as "Parabens, Silicones, Synthetic Fragrance, Synthetic Sunscreens, etc." As the website notes, "your skin absorbs 64% of what you put on it. This is why we never use synthetic or harmful chemicals and pesticides that can easily be absorbed into your body. " 

Speaking strictly from a first impressions point of view, before I tested the CC cream, I was already impressed. There's a lot of publicity about being careful of what you put into your body (healthy foods as opposed to processed junk and fast food), but this is an amazing reminder to be careful of what you put onto your body. 

The directions for the CC cream. It is described as being "non-greasy, anti-aging" with "natural coverage [and] matte Broad Spectrum SPF 30 CC Cream protecting from UVA & UVB rays utilizing the safest and natural form of zinc oxide available without using synthetic sunscreen. This CC cream consists of our anti-aging proprietary formulation." The directions are to "apply to face and neck every morning." 

It also lists some sun protection measures, such as regularly using sunscreen, limiting the time in the sun, and wearing clothing to cover the body from the sun. I hope that most people already know these measures, but this is a really good reminder to look at every morning when you're applying it, and I love that it's printed right on the bottle.

Finally, the drug facts with all of the standard warnings that are labeled on most beauty products. 

The cream itself. When the CC cream is described as non-greasy, it was not kidding. I have not found a cream with sunscreen in it that doesn't apply greasy, until now. It applies very smoothly; a little goes a long way with this cream. The smell is not strong at all, and is actually quite pleasant (coming from someone who gets headaches from the scent of 80% of the lotions and creams on the market).

The coverage on this cream is very light, which is perfect for the summer, as is the SPF 30. It is anti-aging, but is suitable for any age. I always say that it is never too early to start using anti-aging products, and this makes it so easy and pleasant. 

A 4 oz. jar costs $110 on the website. A couple of things: at first glance, it might seem like a lot, but it's your skin. What is worth a better investment? Also, one jar lasts for quite a while... I'd been using it for one month already in that picture, and you can barely tell that any is missing. Some reviews of the product say that it has lasted for four months for them, and I can definitely see that happening. 

Overall, it's a good company, an amazing product, and wonderful benefits. This is exactly the cream that people should be splurging on; your skin will definitely thank you. In a couple of months, when (if) I run out, I am going to be re-purchasing, which I don't do for a lot of products. After seeing all of the good that it did for my skin, how could I not? 

(This product was sent to me for review, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. Read my disclaimer for more information. All links in the post are not affiliate links.)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nail polish haul

A quick post on the nail polishes that I picked up! On a Facebook group for selling things at my university, there were a couple of girls selling nail polish. I received these three, which was really the main reason that I bought them (both girls threw in a couple of extra polishes, like some "Dior" (I put it in quotes because from the quality, I am not sure how authentic it was) and a random off-brand polish. 

All in all, I got these three polishes and three other polishes, as well as a bonus costume necklace, for $10. Considering that these three alone would retail for around $24, I definitely think it was a steal! Plus, none of these polishes have been used that much, they were basically full. 

I know people who don't like to buy used polishes, but I don't think it's a big deal. If it's thickened, as old nail polish that hasn't been used in awhile often does, Seche makes a great restoring product. If you're really concerned, you could always clean the brushes in Acetone before using it (I have never done that, so don't take my word for it). 

From left to right: Essie Luxeffects in Stroke of Brilliance, OPI All That Razz-Berry, and OPI Tutti Frutti Tonga. 

I'm not sure how I feel about the All That Razz-Berry because I'm not a huge fan of deep purple-reds like that, but the Tutti Frutti Tonga and Stroke of Brilliance are just my type. Expect to see a design with them soon! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

December 2014: Target Beauty Box--For Her

Target has beauty boxes that go on sale every once in a while (monthly or bimonthly?), and this time I managed to snag a couple! The boxes differ from subscription services like Ipsy or Birchbox because you have to order them when they go on sale on; they're not automatically sent to you. This December box was $10, limited edition, and is currently out of stock online. This was my first Target Beauty Box, so I wasn't sure what to expect. The website said that it has a value of $50. We shall see! 

The packaging. Very pretty and holiday themed, but in the end, it's just a cardboard box. 

The two cards included in the box. The white one on the left has a list and description of the 7 (!) full-sized products included,as well as two coupons: One for 20% off Women's Apparel on, and one for $3 off a Beauty purchase of $15+, either online or off. The red one on the right is another coupon, this one for $10 off a purchase of any size on I've never ordered from there before, but a free $10? Hard to resist. 

The products! The eyeshadow was flashed out, which I didn't realize until after I had already unpacked everything in the box. But this box had 8 products, most of them full-sized as I mentioned earlier. Most of these are drugstore products or products from Target's beauty section, but just from looking at it (without adding up any of the value yet), it looks like a much better value than the Ipsy glambag or Birchboxes (I say this having been a long-time subscriber to both of them). 

COVERGIRL Eye Enhancers in 286 smokey nudes. The website does not list the price since it's not sold online, but at my local Target, it was $5.99. It seems to run between $4.99-$5.99, but we'll just go with the local Target price. Value: $5.99
ChapStick Total Hydration 3-in-1 Lip Care in Sweet Peach. This is a Target exclusive. It smells incredible, and it actually works on my lips to moisturize, which is surprising because I have only ever found one chapstick that works. Value: $2.99
Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced Serum. This is a .1 fl oz sample, so it rings in at about: Value: $2.99
Clairol Hair Food Moisturizing Hair Mask in Apricot Honey. This has an awesome smell and it left my hair feeling incredibly soft and smooth, even more so than my conditioner and previous Aveda hair mask. I will definitely re-purchase this in the future, if I ever run out. It's a 6.3 oz bottle and you don't need that much, even with my thick and long hair. Value: $11.99 
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. My picture makes it look much bigger than it is, it's actually 20 mL whereas the full-size bottle for sale is 80 mL. Even this small size has a lot in it, and I can't wait to try it. Laneige is a very popular South Korean brand, and I love Korean skincare products, so it's neat to see that Target carries it. Value: $5.75

L'Oreal Butterfly Intenza Mascara in Black Noir. I have not tried this out yet, so no idea on how it is, but it claims to "[give] instantly glamorous lashes with a formula that stretches and lengthens to create the perfect winged-out look." Value: $7.99

Revlon Ultra HD Lip Lacquer in Strawberry Topaz. I actually already own a couple of these glosses, so I was happy to add this to my collection. It has a beautiful red color that I love in my lip products, and it's not overly sticky. Plus it's beautiful and shimmery in the tube. Value: $7.99

Pixi Endless Silky Eye Pen in Black Noir. This eyeliner is incredible. I tried it on when I got it, and it stayed almost the whole day, even when I rubbed at my eyes (the pain of wearing contacts). It's a crayon liner, but thinner than most other ones. The color is very intense. Value: $6.10

All in all, this box was amazing. I'm glad that I was able to grab one before it went out of stock! Although the products were not super incredibly high-end stuff, and it didn't include any nail polish, it was still a great value: worth $61.79, much more than they had advertised! I also bought the Target Beauty Box For Her Natural Version, so I will post a review of that soon!

(This box was purchased by me, and all thoughts and opinions are my own. The links lead to the Target site, as that is where the box was purchased, but none of the links are affiliate.)