5 Tries: Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby

After playing with my Ariel Beauty Book from e.l.f., I got it into my head that I wanted to do a regular feature where once or twice a month I take a product from my collection that is being underutilized and try to wear it for five days in five different ways. This system will 1) force me to get more creative with my makeup 2) allow me to use up or at least dent some neglected beauty products and 3) give me a solid reason to write more product reviews.

So for my inaugural 5 Tries post, I selected the Flower Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby in Teal We Meet Again. I had not used this product since purchasing it months ago so this is the perfect example of what I’m going for with these posts. I was attracted to the teal color in the store but sitting next to be other shadow sticks in my drawer, the bright blue looked intimidating.


Flower is a cruelty free beauty brand created by Drew Barrymore. Their mission is to provide high-end quality products at drugstore cost. If you’ve never heard of Flower Beauty before that is because they don’t purchase advertisements in order to keep their costs down for consumers. Case in point, Flower is only sold at Walmart. You can’t even buy anything from the Flower website. The Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby has five colors total and retails for $7.98

These eyeshadow chubbies are a cream stick formula, which are really trendy right now. One of the chief claims of the line is that these shadows are very buildable. As you can see by the swatch below, that’s fairly accurate.

From left to right: 3 layers, two layers, 1 layer.

From left to right: 3 layers, two layers, 1 layer.

The packaging led me to believe that this teal shade would lean more blue, but on my hand and lid it shows up more green. I thought that was kind of disappointing because I love a good true teal.

On to the looks I created!


Day 1: I lightly spread Teal We Meet Again in my crease. This was the first day so my first impulse was to spread the shadow with the stick itself. MISTAKE. Lightly tap this product where you want it to go and then spread with your finger. This product will blend best with your fingers. Later in the day, I noticed some fading as well.

Day 2: I put Stila’s Kitten as a base and then a wash of Teal We Meet Again over the whole lid. Meh. Not my favorite look, but easy.

Day 3: For this look, I created a nude lid and used Teal We Meet Again as a thick liner. I layered the color on for a darker shade as well. Loved the look of this when I first applied and in the picture, but this shadow is a creeper! The color didn’t want to stay put and creeped up my lid  within twenty minutes. And when I went to take my makeup off at night the color stained my lid. At this point I was frustrated with this shadow. I really thought I wouldn’t make it five days and contemplated tossing this shadow.

Day 4: On day 4 I finally figured out how this shadow works best: as a base, with another color layered over it. After the staining scare, I lightly patted this shade over my whole lid and then blended out the color with my finger. Then I used an e.l.f. shadow quad in Nouveau Neutrals to cover Teal We Meet Again. I put the olive-y green over the lid then took the warm tan shade (sorry the individual shades don’t have names) and blended it into my crease. A touch of ice blue in my inner corner completes this look. The colors appeared more intense in real life than in the picture but it was strangely compelling. I felt like I had put “Captain Planet” on my eyelids and was loving it. Great for a night out.

Day 5: I was so excited to be done with this product. But learning my lesson from day 4 I used Teal We Meet Again as a base but used a lighter hand. Then I packed a nude shade over the whole lid to further dull the intensity of this green. To finish the lid off I dusted a gold shade into the crease.

What I learned about Flower’s Teal We Meet Again Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubby

  • It needs primer underneath and a powder shadow over top to stay put.
  • It does build up nicely, but it will stain your lids in the process.
  • Works best as a base.
  • Use your fingers to blend. Brushes won’t save you.

Honestly, day 4 saved this product from the trash can. I won’t reach for Teal We Meet Again often, but it is good as a base for a vibrant smokey eye.

I’d give this product 2 beauty bubbles.

Unfortunately, my first 5 Tries post was a bit of a negative review but I have some Flower eye shadows with different formulas that are lovely. So don’t let this post deter you from Flower as a brand. Just maybe steer clear of the Eyes on the Prize Eyeshadow Chubbies.

What did you guys think of the 5 Tries post? Should I do more of these?


August Empties

It’s been awhile since I’ve had anything big to share in an empties post, and even still this will be a shorter post. I don’t care what size an item is, I am going to get pumped whenever I hit pan or run out. It’s just satisfying. I’d compare it to finishing a good book or the end of a good movie marathon. You’re happy it happened and you just want to talk about it.

So without further ado here are my August empties.

The few. The proud. The empty.

The few. The proud. The empty.


Ole Henriksen Truth to Go Cleansing Wipes ($8.00)

I’m sad to see these wipes go. For the most part, I’ve switched over to using a cold cream for makeup removal but I like to keep some wipes around for the nights I’m feeling lazy. These wipes didn’t burn my eyes and they removed even my most stubborn long-wear  makeup. The citrus scent was refreshing without being overwhelming. And I felt like they went a step beyond makeup removal and did some mild cleansing. The texture of these were also quite lovely. Not overly wet feeling but very soft. I got this product in an ipsy bag several months ago, which was great because you hear a lot of good things about Ole Henriksen but I probably wouldn’t have bought this for my self.


Would I repurchase?

If these wipes were not $8.00 for a ten pack, absolutely I would. They’re luxurious and work well. But I don’t want to pay a luxurious price for something I could use in under two weeks. Unless ipsy wants to send me some more of these, I think not.


Just enough left to do a little swatch.

Just enough left to do a little swatch.

Clinique SuperFine Liner for Brows in Soft Blonde ($16.00)

I’ve had this brow pencil for years and used it off and on, usually for formal occasions. And then I started using it daily back in April and fell in love with this product. I’m surprised it never made it into a favorites post. The color is what really sells me on this liner. Soft Blonde looks so natural and makes filling my brows in incredibly easy. Even when I mess up it’s not noticeable. Tons of bloggers love the Anastasia Brow Wiz and I can’t compare them having never tried that product, but I’m not sure I would bother. I am so in love with this brow pencil and it’s $6 cheaper.

Would I Repurchase?

Yes. I’m in the midst of trying to use up some other brow products so I can’t justify it at the moment, but when the day comes I will be repurchasing this lovely liner as quickly as possible.




Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer (sample value $5.50)

I got this lid primer in a try-it kit from Sephora many months ago that came with the under eye primer and the original photo finish primer for I want to say $10. But a full size one of these fellas is $22. I’d say it’s worth it. The primer is a nude shade that blends out well and neutralizes any lid discoloration. And it holds your makeup like a dream. I can count on this lid primer to lock my shadows in place: cream, pigment, or powder. Some other high-end primers can leave my lid feeling a bit oily and since I already have oily lids, I feel gross by adding more. This Smashbox lid primer starts me out with a matte base that doesn’t feel chalky. I used this sample size until there was no more product for the doe foot applicator to grab.

Would I Repurchase?

Yes! I may or may not (and by that you know it means definitely) have already bought the full size. What can I say? I think this might be a holy grail item for me.

Quite by accident this ended up being more of a high-end empties post. And I’m sad to see all of these products go! Have you tried any of these products? Was it love, like, or hate?

August Beauty Favorites

Tis that time again! Well, technically, it is past time to talk about what beauty tidbits I loved in August. Most of these were things I have had in my collection for several months but never quite made it into a favorites post. So today these products get their due. Let’s dig in!

August Faves in all their glory.

August Faves in all their glory.

Though it’s not technically a beauty product, this soft, snuggly, lavender blanket has been my favorite random item this month. My grandma bought it for me at Costco as a housewarming present when I couldn’t stop petting the darn thing in the store.


So good I don't want to stop!

So good I don’t want to stop!

The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Hydrating Toner ($13.00)

This is one of the only new items in my favorites this month. I bought this in a Body Shop Vitamin E kit for $20.00 at a TJ Maxx and when I couldn’t find my regular toner in the midst of unpacking I turned to this one. I’m actually upset about the prospect of switching back to my former toner now.  This Hydrating Toner has a light, clean scent that I can’t get enough of. My skin feels refreshed after I use it, and this product truly does hydrate my skin. I also appreciate that there is no bite to this toner but it removes oil and makeup with ease. Would highly recommend this product.




Rimmel Exaggerate Full Lip Colour Lip Liner in Eastend Snob 063 ($5.99)

Normally, I have no use for lip liners, but I stumbled upon this shade and decided to give it a go. The universe steered me right that day because this shade is perfection. For me, Eastend Snob is a my lips but better shade. I can wear it alone for a matte look or under a nude color for longer wear. The formula is smooth and doesn’t tug at my lips. The design of the product is simple but gives you more precision: when you twist the product up it comes up at an angle for an always slanted tip. No other lip liner has ever charmed me the way this Rimmel liner has!


The unsung hero of any beauty lover.

The unsung hero of any beauty lover.

Sally Hansen Double Duty Base & Top Coat (4.99)

These kinds of products don’t normally get a lot of love in favorites post but I am here to change that today! I used to have a terrible problem with my nails breaking whenever they got to a certain length. My friend, Elyse, suggested using some kind of strengthener and recommended a few from Sally Hansen to me. I have been using this as a base and top coat for months now and my nails seem so much happier. I won’t pretend this product cures all nail ills, but for my needs it has been fabulous. I’ve noticed my nails are less brittle and grow to longer lengths (when I let them) without breaking. And the shine this top coat gives is so glossy. I recently tried returning to my old O.P.I top coat and was terribly disappointed. This base & top coat might just be a holy grail item for me!




O.S.T. Original Pure Vitamin C20 Serum ($24.99)

This is the first serum I’ve ever regularly integrated into my skin care routine. Months ago, back in November I believe, a blogger Suomica (she hasn’t been on in a while for personal reasons but I hope she comes back to the blogging community one day), did a post on this product and I was tempted enough to buy it. I got my bottle from a Korean beauty website called wishtrend.com, and though it took about seven weeks to get to the States, this serum is worth the wait. I put it on every night before bed and my skin soaks it up. It’s supposedly 20% vitamin c and the website claims that it helps firm up skin, evens skin tone, and combats breakouts. As to the firming part, it’s hard to say, since I’m twenty-four and can’t tell if it’s tightening loose skin or not. I will say that my skin has looked brighter and it helps sooth breakouts. It doesn’t remove blackheads entirely, but I can tell when I haven’t been using this serum at night. Love the little apothecary style bottle and glass stopper too.


Probably my favorite palette of all time. No joke.

Probably my favorite palette of all time. No joke.

My three favorite shades from the palette. Top to bottom: Selfish, Stand-offish, and Seductive

My three favorite shades from the palette. Top to bottom: Selfish, Stand-offish, and Seductive

The Balm’s Nude ‘Tude Palette ($18.00)

If you’re a makeup fan, you’re probably curious about the price I’m citing here. I got my Nude ‘Tude palette on Hautelook for $18 when it’s regularly $36. This one purchase has justified my Hautelook account. These shadows are so velvety and soft I have to stop myself from randomly touching them and wasting product. My favorite shades are Selfish (silvery taupe), Stand-offish (golden pink), and Seductive (light copper). All of these shadows are blendable and have great pigmentation. This has been my go-to travel palette when I went home in July and then went to my friend’s wedding at the beginning of August. And I love the sassy pin-up girl pans! If you’re looking for a neutral palette, I would highly recommend the Nude ‘Tude palette, even at full price it’s still cheaper than Urban Decay’s Naked Palette (don’t get me wrong, I love that one too but sometimes you have to think of your budget first).

Hope you all enjoyed my beauty favorites for August!


e.l.f. Treasure Within Beauty Book

Haven’t you always wanted to be a princess? Be it warrior or fairy or dare I say mermaid? Ladies, e.l.f. has you covered. Fresh off their success with their villain line last fall, e.l.f. has begun creating Disney sanctioned Beauty Books a.k.a. palettes for some of Disney’s princesses.

The first in what I presume will be a series is the Ariel Treasure Within Beauty Book. The Beauty Book comes with nine eye shadows, two bronzers, a lip gloss, and two brushes. All for the wallet friendly price of $10.

My nails conveniently coordinated with the mermaid theme.

My nails conveniently coordinated with the mermaid theme.

I am obsessed with the artwork for this Beauty Book. The black and white sketch is so dreamy and a bit more sensual. All of the e.l.f. Ariel products have similar artwork and it’s very enticing. The collection also has lip gloss, blush and eye shadow, and brush kits that are priced $10 and under. I stopped myself at the Beauty Book because that way I can sample a bit of everything and not get spastic.

The brushes included in the Beauty Book are OK. The eye shadow brush is more versatile but not as good as the e.l.f. studio line of shadow brushes. The little brush for the bronzers is just not the right size or shape for application but other than that it’s an alright brush.

Inside the Beauty Book is a small mirror and a few total look suggestions. I really enjoyed these additions though the looks are a bit extreme for me personally. And the mirror isn’t the best quality but it’s great to have that in the palette for travel purposes. There is also a piece of plastic covering the makeup so if anything breaks or falls out it slightly contains the mess.

Little details like this make the Beauty Books special.

Little details like this make the Beauty Books special.

Nice to have a visual with the instructions.

Nice to have a visual with the instructions.

The shadows themselves feels soft to the touch and all but the purple shade (Seashell) have some level of shimmer to it. I do find it a bit strange that out of nine shades only one is a true matte. They all blend easily, which is a good thing because some of these shades are rather bold. But there are also some nice neutrals in there to balance a look out.

In terms of pigmentation, the best shades are the three in the middle–a shimmery pewter (North Star, a shimmery brown (For Shore), and a slightly shimmery copper (Siren Song). Oddly enough these are the three shades that do not get used in the suggested looks you can see above. The other shades have decent color payoff but you have to build them up or pack them on to get results. The palest shade of the bunch (Sand Dollar) barely shows up, so I’d say use it for a browbone highlight or a base shade to neutralize your lid. You absolutely need primer with these shades, not so much for staying power but more for the color enhancing properties a good primer gives.

The eye shadow brush is now living in my brush jar but here is the rest of the Beauty Book.

The eye shadow brush is now living in my brush jar but here is the rest of the Beauty Book.

And here are some swatches for the eye shadow shades and bronzers. I apologize for the semi-blurry photos! But hopefully you can get a better sense of what these products look like outside of the pan.

From Right to Left We Have: Brilliant Sea, Seashell, Seaweed, Siren Song, For Shore, North Star, Tropical Wave, Coral Reef, and Sand Dollar.

From Right to Left We Have: Brilliant Sea, Seashell, Seaweed, Siren Song, For Shore, North Star, Tropical Wave, Coral Reef, and Sand Dollar.

You can barely see Sand Dollar because it is as pale as I am, but I promise it’s there. Most of these shadow swatches had to have two layers for them to show up well, except for the three in the middle that are the warm neutrals. North Star, For Shore, and Siren Song are my favorite shades in Ariel’s Beauty Book. Together they create a really stunning metallic smoky eye.

I will never in my life be this tan. Ever.

I will never in my life be this tan. Ever.

The top shade of the bronzers is Tan Lines and the middle swatch is Conch Shell. These were one swipe swatches. These bronzers are nicely pigmented and actually blend out beautifully. Perfect for a faux beach glow. I was really scared on Conch Shell but it’s not as intimidating if you buff the color out a bit. Then the lip gloss swatch is true to color and it’s called Go On And Kiss the Girl. How perfect is that product name? Wear-wise it goes on fine but feels a bit sticky and doesn’t last overly long. It’s a nice bubblegum pink but I don’t find the gloss itself to be a major staple in my collection.

Below are my versions of the two suggested looks. I tried to blend out some of the shades more because if you pack these colors on I don’t see these looks as overly wearable.

First is the “Sunset Cruise” look, which is on the right side of the diagram. The green shade, Seaweed, should be dusted onto your brow bone and inner corner. Then blend Seashell, the vibrant purple, into your crease. Apply Brilliant Sea, the bright blue, into the outer 1/3 of your eye.

First off, no. These shades together are a bit much for me because they need to be built up or else they get murky. And once they’re built up they are bright. I’d love e.l.f. to explain to me how Seaweed is a “light eye shadow color” fit for highlighting. But I digress. I blended Seaweed into the crease instead of as a brow bone color. Brilliant Sea went on to my outer 1/3 and then got winged out a bit for flair. And I packed Seashell onto the center of my lid.

You can also see the shade Tan Lines on my cheeks.

You can also see the shade Tan Lines on my cheeks.

Eye close up!

Eye close up!

Clearly I blended the living daylights out of everything because the colors were a bit too club-kid for every day.

Then the second look is called “On the Beach”. You take Sand Dollar, the pale off-white, and apply it to your brow bone and inner corner. The light yellow shade, Coral Reef, goes all over the lid. And then the blue green shade Tropical Wave goes on the outer 1/3 of your eye.  I stayed fairly close to the directions for this one but was disappointed by the poor color payoff on the first two shades.

Well I wouldn't wear this to the beach, but maybe that's just me.

Well I wouldn’t wear this to the beach, but maybe that’s just me.

Overall, I think this is a decent palette/ Beauty Book. The most impressive shades are the center trio, but you can get some lovely looks by playing around with different color combinations. This would make a fun gift for someone who is a Disney fan; I certainly felt pretty cool playing with my princess palette. I’d give Ariel’s Beauty Book 3.5 beauty bubbles. Not bad but not mind-blowing either.

As I mentioned earlier, this Beauty Book and other Ariel themed e.l.f. items can be found at Walgreens or drugstore.com. They’ve already released a Snow White range, which also includes a Beauty Book, so I’m going to wait for my next drugstore.com offer before I purchase. These are limited edition and for their price are worth exploring. I’m a happy Disney dame at the moment and can’t wait to see which princess they pick next.

August Ipsy Bag 2014

August has been such a big month for me. I moved to Los Angeles, and then flew back to Ohio to be in my best friend’s wedding. But in the midst of all that excitement came my ipsy bag. No matter what is going on in my life, bad or good, getting my  ipsy Glam Bag puts a smile on my face.

Ipsy is a $10 a month subscription service that sends you five sample to full size beauty products, which then comes in an adorable makeup bag. Each bag has a theme and this month it is Beauty Schooled! I’ve been trying out my ipsy products for the last few weeks and here’s how they all breakdown.

School Yourself in Beauty

School Yourself in Beauty

So the bag is about as attractive as it’s going to get in this picture. It’s a shiny vinyl reminiscent of my grade school pencil cases. The bag arrived crumpled beyond saving, so there is no way it would survive my purse. Extremely disappointed in the bag itself, but the contents were fun.

Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More (sample value $11.25)

I’ve seen a lot of Dr. Brandt products work the subscription box circuit but this is my first experience with the brand. The formula has a mousse-like texture and is a salmon color. It feels good to apply, and the slight color of the product blends out. The product claims are that this primer will minimize pores, blur fine lines, and mattifies skin. Additionally, it’s s supposed to be an antibacterial product that will act as a shield between your makeup so your pores don’t clog. These are some hefty claims that I think the primer only half completes. I’d say it does a good job of mattifying and keeping my foundation set. But I didn’t notice much blurring or a difference in clogged pores. Since a full size Pores No More is $45, I don’t think it’s worth the price tag for what the results you get. But I’m glad something like this was in my ipsy bag because it’s not something I would have purchased without trying it out.

Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay (sample value $5.50)

This was the most exciting thing in my ipsy bag this month. Urban Decay has been building up this product launch for months and now that Perversion is out bloggers are raving about this mascara. And here’s the thing…I haven’t opened it. I have too many mascaras open at the moment to justify popping open this sample. I don’t want it to dry out before I can use it to its fullest! So no review on this one yet. But UD promises bigger, badder, blacker lashes and I’m hoping that’s the case. Any one else a fan of this mascara? It retails for $22 for .4 fl. oz. so it had better be good!

Flying Solo Eye Shadow by J. Cat Beauty in Half Naked(Full Size $2.99)

I was intimidated by how orange this shadow looked in the pan. And it looked a little too chalky. But on the lid this color reads as a warm champagne with a hint of shimmer and feels smooth. If you’re looking for something bold, then the color payoff is not for you. Wearing Half Naked on its own is not an option. However, I think it’s a great shade to use as a base or to blend into your crease as a subtle transition shade. This shade could also be a nice neutral highlight. The packaging is rather charming too; it comes with a little mirror and a teeny tiny applicator. So very pleased with this wee eye shadow.

Jersey Shore Sun’s Mongongo Nutrient Dense Anti-Aging Lip Conditioner (Full Size $5.50)

I got the Lip Conditioner in Mandarin Green Orange Ginger. I’m not even sure that scent description makes sense. It actually smells kind of like lemon and feels so smooth on your lips. This product is 100% natural and USDA certified organic.  There are tons of supposed benefits to using this lip balm including UV protection, hydration, and skin regeneration (hence the anti-aging) for fuller softer lips. Apparently, Mongongo oil is derived from a fruit that is often considered a tree nut and it’s rich in antioxidants. I’ve been wearing this lip conditioner every day by itself or under lipstick, and I really like it. It feels so good on my lips and I’ve noticed a decrease in chapped lips in the past week and a half. So I would definitely repurchase this in the future!

Klorane’s Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk (sample value $6.50)

I’ve mentioned on this blog before my struggle to find a dry shampoo that actually works for me. Maybe my expectations are too high; I really want a product that can help me avoid the shower for another day if I’m in a rush. I won’t say that this Klorane dry shampoo saves me from a morning shower, but it does make me feel slightly more presentable. Slightly. The formula doesn’t leave any kind of residue or visible powder for me, which is nice. And the smell is light, which is also nice. But I won’t pretend I’m in love with this product either. I will happily use the sample but will not be purchasing the full size for $19.50.

Overall, I’d say this was a decent bag from ipsy. I really liked one of the products–the lip conditioner–and another one could really surprise me when I use it later (the mascara), so I’m not mad at this month’s bag. The total value of August’s Glam Bag is $31.74. Not crazy fabulous but not bad for a $10 beauty bag!

If you’d like to join ipsy, click on my referral link here.

August PopSugar Must Have Box


August 2014

August 2014

There are a plethora of subscription boxes out there for people to enjoy. I can’t claim to have tried them all, in fact I’m no where near that authority, but of the few I have tried I thouruoghly enjoy the PopSugar Must Have Box.

It’s a little something different from the standard beauty box. There are typically one or two full sized traditional beauty items, a food item, an accessory, a lifestyle item (i.e. the candle in this box), and a health/wellness item. Last month I got a jump rope in my PopSugar box and got really excited about it. I wouldn’t have picked something like that up at the store, but I feel more inclined to use them when they come from the Must Have Box.

PopSugar boxes aren’t like most beauty boxes in that you don’t take a quiz to receive your items. Each box is curated by the PopSugar team and everyone gets the same thing. The Must Have box costs around $39.99 a month, but the value of the goodies inside the box always exceeds the cost. I’ve loved this service for the three months that I’ve had it and will probably continue using it in the future because it’s such a fun subscription.

So let’s dive into the August Must Have Box…

Ocean Tide + Sea Salt Mini Jar Candle by Paddywax ($10)

I’m quickly turning into a candle junkie. I have an amazing candle trio from Volupsa in my bathroom right now, but when that is finished it will all about this Ocean Tide scent. Which will weirdly enough probably be in November. But it’ll be summertime nostalgia by then. Just smile and nod with me on that one.

The scent is definitely leaning  more toward sea salt–like the sea salt scrubs you used to buy at Bath and Body Works–rather than the Ocean Tide end of things. Still it will be great to relax with. And it’s hand-poured soy wax made in the U.S.A. Even if Paddywax is a total farce and is secretly part of some candle conglomerate, I like the idea of supporting an artisan candle company. Plus the adorable rustic packaging can later be re-purposed as a cotton ball holder.

Purple Meal and Dipper Set by Goodbyn ($8)

I can’t presently fathom when I’ll need a storage container with an attached dipper, but maybe that’s just an excuse to start going on picnics! This is a perfect example of an item that I wouldn’t have purchased myself but am glad to find a use for in my life. I’m currently on the hunt for a job and spend a good chunk of my day hunched over a computer, so taking myself out to a nearby park for some much needed vitamin D would be a great thing!

Elle Earrings in Slate by Kendra Scott ($52)

These earrings alone have more than justified the price of the box. They’re classic pale stone drop earrings that are easily wearable in any season. Again, maybe not something I would have been immediately drawn to in the store, but I’m excited to add them to my collection.

The box also came with a coupon code for 20% off a purchase at kendrascott.com, so that’s an additional treat. I did some online window shopping last night and don’t know if I will actually use the code or not. Kendra Scott has some stunning pieces but they’re also at stunning prices. I’m trying to be better about budgeting my fun-money so her pieces are just a little rich for my blood at the moment. Which makes the earrings all the more exciting!

Celebrate!  Cookie Mix by The Mason Jar Cookie Company ($12)

I have a feeling I’m going to be excessively grateful for this cookie mix on some odd night in the future. All you have to do is add butter and an egg, mix, and bake. Insta-delicious cookies! It came in this plastic package that looks like a mason jar but takes up less than half the space in my cabinets. I’m in love. These would also make great gifts given the price and the variety on their website. I definitely poked around on there and am so intrigued with this company. When I finally get around to making them I’ll have to do a review to see if they’re worth the hype in my head. Just for sheer amusement though, you should check out  masonjarprovisions.com .

Lollia’s At Last Perfumed Shower Gel ($22)

I just opened this product to describe the scent and sat here smelling it for a good minute. This gel smells intoxicatingly good. You know how people constantly smell babies? Well this gel smells like babies toddling around in a flower field. Happy and sweet. Officially speaking, the scent is white petals and rice flower. But that’s essentially babies toddling around in a flower field. The gel also has some lovely ingredients like jojoba oil and shea butter so your skin will be happy with it too. This sucker is 8 fluid ounces. Huge product! And the packaging is darling. It vaguely reminds me of Marc Jacobs’ packaging, which is always chic. I will proudly display this in my shower as soon as I’m done with the half dozen other soaps and washes I need to work through. Sigh.

Lush Fruit Lip Gloss by Bite Beauty in the color PopSugar ($22)

This is my first ever Bite Beauty lippie! And what’s even more exciting is that Bite made this color specifically for PopSugar’s second birthday. The shade matches the bright pink of the delivery box. There are strawberry, coconut, and avocado oils in the gloss so it should be nourishing as well as stylish. That also explains why it smells like a Jamba Juice. If all goes well with this lip gloss I may get brave and try other Bite lip products.

Bonus! thinkThin’s Brownie Crunch High Protein Bar

Now, I haven’t tried this bar yet mostly because I’m scared of protein bars. Especially ones that label themselves High Protein bars. Typically with this kind of food product there is a powdery vitamin dense after taste that is vaguely metallic. I have quit many a protein bar in the past because of that dreaded taste. But I’m cautiously optimistic about this one because of the brownie part. I’ll give it a shot in any event.

So that is the monthly round-up for the PopSugar Must Have Box. Total box value for August  is $126!

If you’d like to give PopSugar a shot click on this referral link: http://popsu.gr/ubBn . Unfortunately, PopSugar only ships within the US, but there’s always the hope of expansion. Box subscriptions come in one month, three month, six month, or 12 month increments.

What’s your favorite beauty box?

Beauty Battle: Boots No 7 vs. Physician’s Formula Bronzers

Maybe I’m feeling a bit feisty, but the idea of a beauty battle just sounds awesome.

Summer may be fading but we all want to go back to school or work looking like we gave summer our all. So which of these drugstore bronzers would be your best bet? Let’s battle it out!

How adorable is this packaging?

How adorable is this packaging?

In this corner…Physician’s Formula Happy Boosting Glow and Mood Boosting Bronze Illuminating Veil in the shade Light Bronzer $13.99 (I bought mine during one of Ulta’s bogos so I’d hold out for that deal.)

Who wouldn’t want a product with the phrase “happy boosting” in the title? It’s been a long while since I’ve tried any PF products. Some of their packaging has changed but the brand is  just as charming  and quirky as I remember. The pink plastic twist-top container is rather cheery looking and comes with not only a brush but a pink powder puff so you can choose which method you want to use. There is also a mirror inside the compact top, which is always nice. I think the slight bump in price for this product comes from the fancy packaging add-ons.

Hearts of gold and bronze.

Hearts of gold and bronze.

One of the first things you notice about this product is the light scent. I think a lot of PF products have a perfume-y note to them, which doesn’t bother me but it often takes me off guard. The scent of the Happy Booster though is light and pleasant and vaguely floral. The bronzer itself is shimmery and I was afraid it was going to look like a craft project exploded on my face. But the shimmer blends out well and is not too obvious. The heart-shaped beads are in light tones and the color does not build that well. A light glow is as good as it is going to get.  And for some, that might be enough. I will say it’s great for adding subtle dimension to your foundation but I would not call this a contouring friendly product. Unless you bought the other shade, which is Bronzer. Haven’t tried it, but maybe it would work better for a more chiseled cheek look.

This half of my face brought to you by Happy Booster

This half of my face brought to you by Happy Booster.

Expectations are everything when trying a new product. The packaging promised me a glow, and that’s exactly what I get out of this Happy Booster–something subtle. I like this for a quick swish over my cheeks so that I don’t look washed out.


And now in this corner…Boots No. 7 Perfectly Bronzed Pearls are $11.99 at Ulta

Simple but chic design.

Simple but chic design.

I first encountered the Boots brand in England when I was studying abroad in Cambridge, but this is my first Boots No. 7 purchase. Right away, I would say the Boots bronzer has a more high-end appearance though it costs less. The container is clear with a metallic-bronze lid that would look quite pretty sitting out on your vanity. The  pearls don’t come with a puff, but there is a foam circlet when you first open the packaging to prevent the beads from breaking. I’ve kept the circlet so that I don’t break the pearls during travel. Also I love that they’re called pearls because it just sounds so classy.

I've always loved a pretty pearl.

I’ve always loved a pretty pearl.

Formula wise, the pearls are in deeper tones and possibly more universally flattering for that reason. (To be fair to PF they also offer a product called Sun Stones that more closely resemble this pigmentation, but I was more attracted to the Happy Booster Packaging.) There is a hint of shimmer but the pearls are much more pigmented. I would say Boots is better for full contour. I only needed a light swirl in the pan to get good color over my cheeks, but if you have darker skin tones, this product also builds up nicely. I even contoured the sides of my nose with this product. At the same time, I don’t feel like the color is too dark for my skin tone.

The Boot-iful other half of my face.

The Boot-iful other half of my face.

I didn’t have a set level of expectations going into using this product and was pleasantly surprised by how well the Bronzed Pearls worked for me.


The reason I wanted to compare these two products is they have a similar price range and are a similar style of product. Each is a small compact-sized container that has shaped bronzed pearls, or in the case of the Physician’s Formula, hearts. The PF also comes with a pink puff and a flat narrow pink brush, both of which are cute but not altogether helpful in makeup application.You swirl your brush over both pearls for a light dusting of bronzer. I use what I call the E&3 method for my bronzer, which is to sweep my brush in an E or 3 shape down my face depending on what side you’re on. If I want to contour any further than that I do so with the E&3 as a base.

The picture here is just a light application in the E&3 style.

Serious face for a serious beauty battle. Right half, Happy Booster. Left Half, Boots Pearls.

Serious face for a serious beauty battle. Right half, Happy Booster. Left Half, Boots Pearls.

So after a grueling beauty battle a victor has emerged…

And the winner is Boots No. 7 Perfectly Bronzed Pearls!

The price is right and the Boots bronzer is going to be a more versatile product for a variety of skin tones. I like the Physician’s Formula Happy Booster and will continue to use it, but I tend to lean towards the Boots.

So what do you think? Did the referee (a.k.a me) make the right call? What’s your favorite bronzer for the end of summer?

Mid-Week Manicure

Star Sprinkles!

Star Sprinkles!

Excuse the raggedy edges. I ended up cleaning my nails up more after taking the photo, but was too lazy to retake the picture. I was just excited about how my mid-week manicure turned out and needed to share!

My inspiration for this week’s nail look is one of my favorite TV shows from childhood, Rainbow Brite. If you’re not in the know (and if not, I highly recommend tracking this down on Netflix or some other streaming equivalent) Rainbow Brite details the epic journey of a young girl whose sole purpose is to bring color, light, and happiness to a colorless land, which in turn helps Earth retain its color. There are Color Kids who are responsible for mining Color Crystals, and anal retentive sprite named Twink, and a sassy faintly British horse named Starlite. And the villains who just want everything to be in black and white are called Murky and Lurky. It’s childhood perfection.

Rainbow Brite tossing out her magical Star Crystals like a boss.

Rainbow Brite tossing out her magical Star Sprinkles like a boss.

I seriously believe this show forever effected my sense of style and aesthetics because I’m all about bright colors. So when I found this glitter top coat from Geek Chic Cosmetics I had to have it! The formula has a clear base with small silver glitter pieces, larger multicolored circular glitter pieces, and some multicolored star shaped glitter pieces. Very multidimensional!

The look you see above was achieved with only one coat of Star Sprinkles. I love it over the white base for a more literal interpretation of the Rainbow Brite theme, but I think it would look great over other colors as well.

So for this nail look I used Julep’s Bunny as  a base with two coats. Bunny is a creamy white with subtle hints of golden shimmer. I’ve been using Bunny as a base for many of my designs lately, and it really works for my Rainbow Brite inspired look.  I also used Julep’s Oxygen Smoothing Base Coat and the Oxygen Performance Top Coat, both of which are formulated to allow for more oxygen to reach your nail bed for healthier, stronger nails.

Geek Chic Cosmetics also have great shimmery eye shadow shades inspired by several of fantasies most beloved series. They sell their stock of a particular batch until they run out, so if you love it grab it! They have eye shadow collections based on shows/films like Harry Potter and Doctor Who and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The shadows all have names that we satisfy your inner geek. For example, I have a black shimmery shadow from their Win or Die collection called Brotherhood of Crows. Everything they make is also cruelty free, gluten free, and vegan friendly.

Star Sprinkles is currently on sale on the Geek Chic website for $4.99.

Julep’s Bunny is $14.00 for non-Mavens and $11.20 for Mavens (the name for Julep subscribers). If you’d like to become a Maven click here for a referral link.


June Favorites

Five Fabulous Favorites

Five Fabulous Favorites

This month, I limited myself in terms of my makeup purchases because I went a little loony in May.  So my favorites this month are all things that I’ve been trying for a few months. And I’ve loved them in these months, I’ve just been neglecting them in my favorites posts for some reason or another. But no more! These products will finally get the recognition that they deserve for the month of June.

*If I specify a store in the price, it means that that site or store offered a much better offer than the others when I did an online search.*


Easiest lotion ever.

Easiest lotion ever.

Vaseline Spray& Go Moisturizer ($5.99 at Drugstore.com)

Most of you have probably seen the commercials with the adorable hipster chick who can hop into her clothes super quick because this stuff dries that fast. I had so much doubt and a touch of condescension for that commercial’s promises. But after I read several bloggers recommend the Spray & Go I figured it was worth trying, especially with the price. Doubt and condescension gone, my friends! I’ve been trying to do a full body lotion treatment every day, and this spray makes that process simple and easy. For a spray it gives great coverage (you do have to rub it in) and it is true to its claim of being non-greasy. My skin feels soft and healthy. The lotion has a lovely, light oat smell as well. It’s a weirdly comforting smell for me. The line also has a cocoa and an aloe scented spray. I might try one of the others when I run out of this oat scent.


Pens! I know how to handle pens!

Pens! I know how to handle pens!

I Heart Nail Art Pens by Sally Hansen in Black ($5.99)

I am just starting to adventure into the realm of nail art. These pens by Sally Hansen come in a wide range of colors, but I wanted to start with the basics. I haven’t gotten too fancy yet–just simple dots and lines. But this pen is so easy to use. Shake and then draw. The formula is as opaque as a regular black nail polish and sets up incredibly quick. It’s as easy as handling a regular pen. For more advanced artists, I’m sure you could create some fantastic designs, but I’m thrilled with what I’ve created already. Check out one of my designs below.

Dots galore.

Dots galore.

The rich gingerbread-y brown here is a Julep polish by the name of Vera. All Julep colors are named after fabulous females.


Miracle is in the title!

Miracle is in the title!

L’Oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur ($19.99 at Target)

Lately this has been my favorite primer. You could readily wear this by itself though. The Miracle Blur comes in two separate formulas, the regular and the oil-free. This one is the standard formula that has oil in its base, but I do not feel that it makes my skin all that oily. I have normal to oily skin so anything that makes me any more oily would not survive long in my collection. The Miracle Blur has an SPF 30 which makes it a great way to start your makeup. A pea size portion covers my whole face if I warm it up between my fingers first. It smooths out lines and pores and gives you that airbrushed finish we all crave. My skin has been on the dry side lately so I’ve been using this product with my next favorite  because the combo leaves my skin feeling supple and soft all day long.


All about that H2O.

All about that H2O.

Pixi’s H2O Skin Tint in Cream ($24.99)

I got this product many moons ago at Target, but I haven’t fallen in love with it until this month. Before I would use it for evening events where I had little prep time, like a random invite to the movies. It’s a quick blend and will get you out the door in minutes. The Pixi website claims that this tinted gel will give you a flawless, no makeup look. And that is exactly what it does. Not only is this one of the most hydrating things I’ve subjected my face to, but when it’s on my skin looks happier and healthier. More so even than when I use a BB cream. The tone of my skin is more even and has a natural looking glow without bronzer. It’s a water based formula, so it makes sense that it is so skin friendly.

Pixi H2O Skin Tint

Pixi H2O Skin Tint

You can see that when it’s rubbed in the gel blends well with my natural skin tone. From left to right is a full blend to the product just sitting on my skin. This is a full pump of product, and it covers my face entirely. For a tinted moisturizer it’s a tad expensive but it is worth the price.


Best Makeup Remover Ever

Best Makeup Remover Ever.

Pond’s Cold Cream Cleanser ($4.49)

This is a giant vat of cold cream that I may never fully empty out. Good thing it’s awesome. A quarter size dollop or less will remove every last bit of makeup on your face, even waterproof. You just gently wipe off the excess product with a damp washcloth. My face feels so hydrated after I take my makeup off. And I don’t need to rub hard on my eyes to get any shadow or mascara off. Some of the key ingredients in this product are mineral oil and beeswax. So moisture is key. And it’s hypoallergenic too, so if you’re like me with sensitive skin this shouldn’t irritate it. I have to say I don’t reach for my makeup wipes as often these days because my skin doesn’t feel as great afterwards.  You’d be crazy not to try this.

So those are my June favorites, and they’re all about ease and staying hydrated. Don’t forget to take your water bottles with you when you go out this summer to stay hydrated inside as well as out!

Product Fail: Rimmel Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer

Rarely do I hate a beauty product. It might languish away in my drawer due to disinterest, but there’s always the hope that it might get rediscovered. But I have some full-blown hate for Rimmel London’s Exaggerate Undercover Shadow Primer. It has utterly failed at its purpose.

Grrrr....product rage.

Grrrr….product rage.

The reason I’m so cranky is that Rimmel is a good drugstore brand. I love their mascaras and eyeliners in particular, so when I saw the Undercover Shadow Primer I thought it would be a natural fit with my collection. False.

This product promises to smooth and prep the lid for 4-7 hour wear and its shimmery white color could be used alone or to enhance your eye shadows. Another feature it stresses is that your color should be smudge proof. All pretty basic things for a primer. Though the 4-7 hour promise is a bit weak considering that my Wet n’ Wild For My Primas (Fergie Collection) Primer lasts me all dang day.

Now finding this primer online is kind of tricky. There are some eBay prices ranging from $4.99-6.99. I honestly cannot remember what I paid for this primer because I got it at Target in store a few months ago, and you cannot even buy this primer online. It’s like the internet knows this product is bad news. And I got seduced by the crisp, white aisles of my local Target. Sigh. Such is life.

Here you can see the pale shimmery white color. it had such potential!

Here you can see the pale shimmery white color. it had such potential!

I was really excited for this primer because the packaging showed a picture of colorful eyelid with and without the primer, and the lid with the primer yielded more vivid colors. Typically when I apply primer, I do my face primer and then my eyes. Then I brush my teeth or go get dressed so that I allow my primers to fully sink in. The Rimmel Undercover Shadow Primer was still tacky after the few minutes it took me to get dressed. So I put on my foundation. After my face was buffed and blended, the primer was no longer tacky but it had already creased and clumped up in the tiny folds of my eyelid. Am I supposed to sit for five minutes with my eyes closed for this thing to do its job? If so, that is incredibly unrealistic. Think of me like a little bear perpetually stumbling out of hibernation; it’s not going to take much to make me want to stumble back into my cave. If you ask me to sit still with my eyes closed in the morning for five minutes, I will fall asleep again.

Still, I smoothed out the primer to the best of my abilities and tried to apply my shadow. The shades looked muddy and did not blend well on the primer (I’ve used those specific colors before and have had no problems). On top of all these problems, the colors barely lasted a few hours before they smeared off my lid. I looked like a wreck. But I was still willing to give this primer a second shot thinking that maybe my application was at fault.

Doe footed disaster.

Doe footed disaster.

Round two with the Rimmel Undercover Shadow Primer was just as frustrating. The primer has a doe-foot applicator, so I will say it applies easily though not necessarily evenly. This time I gave the primer ample time to set, or so I thought. I used different shadows from the day before and tried applying those shadows with a brush. The primer started flaking off. Or maybe pilling is a better word for it. Little balls of primer formed and flaked off my lid as I was trying to brush on shadow. This is one of the weirdest primer experiences I’ve ever had.

After two disastrous attempts I had to call it quits with this Rimmel primer. Not all of a brand’s range can be winners, and this primer is an absolute loser. I hate wasting things that I spend my money on, but this beast is going in the trash.

Has anyone else had trouble with this primer?