Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Bad Gal Update

Remember my post on Benefit's Bad Gal Lash mascara? I really liked the product at the time and after using it for over a month now I can safely say that this is the best mascara...maybe ever. I wear it all day long (for about 12-18 hours) and it never budges. It doesn't smudge. It doesn't lose its lash definition. My lashes just look amazingly long and full all day long without a single clump. It is rare that I do an update post on a product that is, well, still awesome, but I thought it would be helpful to see how this product works long term.

If you are in the market for a mascara this is the only thing you should have on your list!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Rosebud Salve...IN A TUBE!

Buy it online here

My favorite lip balm of all time (ever!) now comes in a tube!! The original Rosebud salve has been in my purse for as long as I have been old enough to actually carry a purse. The only downside of the balm, in my opinion, is that it comes in a pot because it A) gets gross from so many dipped fingers and B) easily melts when left in warm temperatures. The tube would fix both of those problems actually making this an unstoppable lip product.

I haven't been this excited about a product in so long!

Saturday, 26 June 2010



St. Tropez Sunless Tanning Lotion:

There is so much to tell! First of all, I recommend that anyone using this product watch the video tutorial on the St. Tropez web site. If you don't you will miss some really key tips that helped me apply the tanner. Here are the tips that I found most important:

1. They are SERIOUS about using gloves. I tried to use my hands at first and after about 5 seconds had very orange hands that would not come clean when vigorously scrubbed. Use gloves.

2. Put on way more than you think. The video recommends about three pumps just for one leg. This seemed like a lot to me so I used much less and therefore could hardly see my tan the next day. Use more.

3. Buff off excess instead of rub. Against the tutorials advice, I tried to rub the product in instead of smoothing it all over and then buffing it in with a buffing pad afterwards. I didn't have a buffing pad (hence the rubbing) but once I saw that the rubbing was just making a sticky mess I got out an old wash cloth and that worked perfectly for buffing. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me earlier that their "buffing mit" was really just a wash cloth that fits on your hand. Gently smooth the lotion on in one area (e.g. one leg) and then buff the product out in circular motions. Then you can move on to another area. Buff.

4. A lot comes off in the shower. This kind of relates to tip number 2. The video explains that a lot of product will come off in the shower so you need to use more than you think you might need to actually get a good color. They recommend that you put the product on at night and let it set and then shower off the excess product in the morning after the color has been absolred into the skin. Because I didn't use that much product, I was horrified when I stepped out of the shower without much color. I should have used more for better results. Don't be afraid to apply a lot, but do shower off the excess or it will get all over your clothes/sheets/furniture/etc. the second that you sweat.

5. Leave the gas mask at home. Most self tanning product absolutely wreak. This does not. It smells subtle and lovely. No need to be afraid of stinky fumes here.

6. Get help with your back. I enlisted some help for my back otherwise there was going to be very distinct areas that I could not reach, but remember to smooth out the edges. In other words, make your back meet your front, rub the sides of your body, don't forget that the sides exist, it's not just a front and a back...you get the idea.

7. Wait, then buff some more. I thought that I had buffed everything out really well, but after about an hour I noticed dark spots around my ankles and elbows. Just buff these out with the wash cloth again and they will blend in nicely.

8. Use moisturizer when the video tell you to. The video recommends that you use moisturizer on the back of one hand, add a little bit of product, and rub the backs of your hands together. Then get between your fingers. Use more moisturizer around your wrists to smooth the line between the wrists and the hands.

9. Keep baby wipes handy for areas like finger nails, toe nails, between fingers, and on elbows. This is where you get the dirty, rusty-looking streaks so use the wipes to clean up areas right away so that they don't show up later.

10. Did I mention to use more than you think you need? USE MORE!

I'll take some photos the next time I re-do the process. Because I didn't use enough the color isn't really anything special, but I loved the scent and how clean it looks. The entire process was a little stressful and much more complicated than using my Jergens lotions, but overall I am very happy with the much-anticipated St. Tropez and I can't wait to use it again!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Where's the St. Tropez?

Well, unfortunately it's in the mail. Sephora no longer carries the brand (what??) but they do still sell it on the web site. One seriously over priced shipped order later I will be a happy camper, but I won't be able to use the product until tomorrow evening after work so I will have to report back on the matter on Monday morning. The Sephora sales woman even noted how strange it was that the store no longer carried the brand on its shelves and she revealed that St. Tropez is the only brand she will use for her sunless tans. That's a good sign! I don't think this product could be recommended by more people. Tomorrow evening can't come soon enough!

Until then, to keep the suspense alive, watch this amazing tutorial on how to apply the product.

In other news, I thought I would share a little hair trick that I have been using to keep my curls under control in the intense summer humidity. Now I know that this goes against lots of advice from various stylists, but it works for me so here it is:

If I just let my curls air dry out of the shower I usually end up with frizzy squiggles all over my head. However, I find that if, after getting out of the shower with clean/conditioned hair, I apply a pea-sized amount of conditioner to my strands I end up with super soft waves that are bouncy and frizz-free. My reasoning? The conditioner weighs down the hair and therefore keeps some of the wacky volume at bay. This is definitely not something that I would recommend to anyone with greasy/flat/limp/fine hair, but it is my saving grace in the summer. After applying the conditioner I comb through my hair and squeeze out any excess water with an old t-shirt. Then I apply a bit of Moroccan Oil for extra smoothness and let it dry.

Try it out and let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Coming Soon...

Coming soon...the moment sunless-tanning-summer has been waiting for...ST.TROPEZ Sunless Tanner!!

It should arrive this afternoon, I will apply this evening, and report back tomorrow morning.

Until then, read some of the reviews that have gotten me so excited (they're at the bottom of the page in the link below).


ps- should I be worried about the people that say it can be really messy, dyed their hands, and got all over their clothes and sheets? Hmmm...I suppose for every rave review there will always be some skepticism!

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Is it worth it?


Let me preface this by saying that I know that higher priced brands are able to use better quality ingredients in their products so I won't try to compare drugstore brands with the top of the market products, but let's examine regularly priced Sephora brands like Benefit and Tarte with brands like Chanel and the new line of products out from Burberry.

When I saw the new Burberry ads I couldn't help but wonder...why? Why would I be enticed to buy a 24 dollar lip liner? Just for brand recognition? I found the color palette of the collection to be seriously boring and the packing to be nothing special.

Likewise, I don't understand the allure of Chanel makeup. Yes it is prestigious to pull out the double-c'ed compact and powder your nose, but would you really buy something just to be seen with it? I don't find that the shadows and blushes are anything special although I have been known to walk out of a department store with a stripe of every shadow color marching down my hands.

I own one Chanel lip palette and only because my friend knew that I would never ever buy it for myself and she gave it to me as a birthday gift. I love the product, but it was way too expensive to justify purchasing for myself.

What do you guys think? Are designer products really worth the intense price tag? Would you try Burberry's new collection?

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Foaming Moisturizer

Oprah likes it...what can go wrong?

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Foaming Moisturizer:

The self tanning summer continues. I think that I am now officially the proud owner of the entire Jergens sunless tanning line. Remember my post about the Jergens express moisturizer that turned me orange and streaky? And how I knew I should have tried this foaming moisturizer that comes highly recommended? Well, here it is!

First impressions: It says that it dries instantly and it is not lying! This stuff came out of the can like mousse and dried the second I applied it. I was a bit panicked because I have zero time to actually blend it all in before it was dry, but when I woke up the next morning I only had two streaks on my left arm. Not bad, right? They were easy to blend away with a damp washcloth so it was no big deal. I liked that it did not smell in the slightest and wasn't messy (although I wish there was more time to blend!!). It would be great if you wanted to apply it in the morning before work or school and didn't have time to wait around.

I've only used this for one full weekend so I will have a better idea of how it works over the long term in the next few weeks. To be continued!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010



Pat McGrath is taking her skills to yet another venture. She's already the Global Creative Design Director for CoverGirl and every product that she touches in that brand turns directly to gold. Hello, LashBlast! So I'm pretty excited about her collaboration with LeSportsac. Typically if you said LeSportsac I would say 8th grade, neon green/pink, and nylon, but McGrath's designs are classic and chic. The Pat retails for 28 dollars and is small and black with a yellow zipper. Good for storing a little amount of makeup, maybe for a short trip. The Page retails for 62 dollars and is a much larger version of The Pat. It is the same black bag/yellow zipper style and looks like it could carry quite a bit of makeup/tools.

I want one. Who am I kidding? I want both.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush

Benefit Sugarbomb Blush:

Yum! This blush is perfect for summer. It is a mix of four different shades (peach, pink, coral and plumb) that combine to be one perfect golden peachy pink color. It smells like a fruit pie and it has just the right amount of shimmer without being at all glittery.

This will be my go-to blush all summer long!

Benefit Lip Gloss in Zone Out

Benefit Lip Gloss in Zone Out:


I am in love with this product. I realize that my lip product accumulation has gotten a bit out of hand in the past few years so I rarely buy glosses unless they are absolutely fabulous. That should tell you a tiny bit about how amazing this gloss really is. It can only be described as a peachy golden champagne color with lots of sparkle. It makes my lips look dewy and adds just the right about of shine. It's not very sticky and it actually feels super moisturizing on my lips. I am in love! I have to keep my hands to myself now and not buy another one of these in a different color...maybe.

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation:

I went to Bloomingdales in the city this weekend and found myself at the Benefit suite. I purchased a few things (posts to come) but got this sample for free. I am a huge believer in the no foundation look. I love all things natural and clean and hate the thought of cakey liquid foundation clogging my pores all day long. Enter Hello Flawless. It's a full coverage powder that is incredibly light and goes on completely smooth with very little blending. I looked more awake with a cheery glow in seconds! With SPF 15, what's there to complain about?

One this is for sure, this little sample is about to become a full sized product!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

What I'm Craving Right Now


What I'm Craving Right Now:

NARS Pure Sheer Lip Treatment- A moisturizing stick of sheer color...what more could you ask for in a summertime product? Will I really get it? My box of lip products says no, but my credit card says yes!

St. Tropez Gradual Tan for Body- If you've been readings my sunless summer posts then you know I'm on the hunt for a great sunless tanner. This one is recommended by more magazines than I can count.

Living Proof Straight Making Kit
- Because nothing works as well as this...NOTHING.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Express Body Moisturizer:

I want to be quick to blame the people over at Jergens for this product, but if I'm being honest it's my own fault. I knew that the regular Jergens moisturizer comes highly recommended, but with a beach party this past weekend I just had to get my ghostly pale skin tan a bit quicker than the regular lotion allowed. This express version promises that your skin with be three shades darker within three days of the first use. Darker is a bit misleading. It should say three shades more orange with plenty of streaking, buuuuut again, my impatience needs to take some of the blame here. I admit that I could have blended better and spent more time rubbing in the product. It is also hard because it is a white lotion so it is difficult to tell where it needs to be further blended.

Overall, I would say if you have the time, go with the original version of this lotion and you are sure to be glowing, but if you are in a hurry like I was...blend blend blend!

Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer

Jergens Natural Glow Healthy Complexion Daily Facial Moisturizer:

And so the sunless tanning begins...

I figured I would start off with my face and go light. This moisturizer really does slowly build up a great color in a natural/gradual way. No pale one day and orange the next! I love that it is oil-free and doesn't feel greasy at all. It rubs in and your face feels smooth and dry. There are no streaks or unnatural lines on my face. So far I haven't broken out from it (although I will keep you posted just in case) and it doesn't smell like anything.

I am seriously impressed with the quality of this product and for less than 10 bucks at CVS I say that this beats the 30 dollar Clarins face tanner that I did NOT purchase.

Overall, a very good start to the sunless tanning experience.




I officially want to cut off both of my legs. I realize how drastic that sounds, but have you ever had 36...i repeat 36...big bites just on your legs alone? These bites range in size from rather small to golf ball sized lumps. I went away this weekend for a graduation party that was outside at a lake. 24 hours of outside fun later (including sleeping outside) I ended up looking like a creature from the black lagoon. There is no way to cover this up so it is officially impossible for me to wear anything other than pants to work this week so that no one mistakenly thinks that I have the bubonic plague, or adult chicken pox, or some type of lethal skin disease. Nothing helps the itching either. Cortisone cream? Nope. Some spray that my former boy scout father recommended? Nope. My next plan of action is just to take a large quantity of Benadryl and hopefully sleep.

Wish me luck...

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

LaVanilla...A Love Affair Continues

LaVanilla...A Love Affair Continues:

Remember my love affair with LaVanilla that started with a candle and grew to a favorite fragrance? Well, I just had to buy my second bottle of LaVanilla Vanilla Coconut perfume. I am typically a switcher when it comes to fragrance. I like Marc Jacobs for evening, Nanette Lepore for daytime, and Miss Dior for anytime, but once I got hooked on LaVanilla I haven't strayed from this intoxicating scent.

This was my go-to scent for my entire senior year of college and I think there is definitely a fragrance-affiliation going on here. Do you ever associate good feelings with the scent you wore? My college bf loved how this smelled on me and how, because I wore it everyday, my room smelled just like it as well.

While my life is in overdrive (just graduated, next day started my very first real-person job, I need to find a NYC apartment, I miss my friends/bf from school) I find myself spritzing an extra mist of this perfume to slow myself down for just a second and remember my last year of carefree college and all that it meant to me.

Sunless Tanning Update


Sunless Tanner Update:

I went to Bloomingdales this weekend with the intention of finally buying that Clarins Sunless Tanner that I have been coveting to start of my sunless tanning summer, but when I got to the counter I realized that the face tanner, while being non-comedogenic, was not oil-free! I am extremely careful about what I put on my face and oil is just not one of those things, especially in the muggy/hot/sticky summer months in NYC. The sales lady did not like the fact that I was not intending to purchase her oil-filled tanner and tried to persuade me to buy it anyway, stating that she uses it herself and never breaks out!

There were two things wrong with that statement. 1) The sales lady had visible acne and 2) The sales lady was as pale as a ghost. Even if the tanner did not cause her acne, she was either lying about using it because she was so pale or she really did use it and it does not work at all. In either case, she was probably the worst sales person for me. I am way too skeptical to take what is told to me at a beauty counter at face value.

Now that Clarins is out for the face I am thinking that I will ease myself into the self tanning process with a cheap-o line of tanners that are also the most widely recommended drugstore pick by beauty editors...the Jergens line. I have to try them out for a few days to be able to report back on my findings so keep an eye out for that post in the near future.

Birthday Girl!

I'm a Birthday Girl!

Today I am 22 years old.

I used to always ask for a Sephora gift card on my birthday, because running around that store without spending my own money is like a kid in a candy store, but much MUCH better! This year I tired to be more practical and asked for a Sonicare toothbrush, because they really clean your teeth and they are way too expensive for me to buy for myself. Boring, no? I did, however, get lots of checks for my graduation so after I buy new clothes for work and furnish my new (future) apartment maybe I'll have some left over to have my own little mini Sephora spree.

Until then, I'll consider this my initiation into the "real world" and continue to troll Sephora.com like it's my mission in life.

Plus I asked for a new bag for my graduation present and will get one as soon as I have a second to go shopping. I am a loyal fan of Marc Jacobs in the bag department, but I am searching far and wide. My last bag was my high school graduation present so don't think this opportunity comes around too often. I have to make an informed decision! What's your favorite designer for bags? Also, just out of curiosity, what do you call them? Bag? Purse? Handbag?

Another Weekend Away

Another Weekend Away:

I had yet another two days away this past weekend. I had to fly to Michigan for my cousin's wedding. It was great to see my extended family and weddings are always nice, but I just wish I had one second to just breathe! Since graduating and starting work I haven't had a weekend off. This coming weekend I will be going to Massachusetts to attend a graduation party. The next few weekends after that will be dedicated to graduation parties and apartment hunting. If I had one wish right now it would be to have just one single day where I had absolutely nothing to do and I could just sit at home in the sun and relax!

I've decided that because I don't have a day of relaxation anywhere in sight I will find ways to beautify my tired-looking face and relax in 10 minutes or less. Here's what I have come up with so far:

1) Do a face mask before bed. Queen Helene is my favorite.

2) Do an under eye mask. I've never tried this before, but I've heard good things.

3) Do an invigorating scrub. I can buy one, make one from scratch, or just add baking soda to my face wash to make it grainy.

4) Take a quick bath. I can finally use more of my LUSH bath products that my sister got me for the holidays.

5) Eat a piece of chocolate cake and not feel guilty about it. Not sure what this would do to help me look less of a tired mess, but it would definitely be a happy 10 minutes!

What do you do to de-stress when you are short on time?