Window Shopping Wednesday – Love and Toast

Do you like smelly-good stuff?  If you’re a girl, I’m 99.9% sure that the answer to that is ‘yes!’ And if you’re a dude, I’m 99.9% sure that every woman in your life would say ‘yes!’  So – this week we’re going to take a peek at a nifty little shop that specializes in smelly-good products for your body.  With Christmas right around the corner, you seriously might want to pick these babies up!  Individually they make great stocking stuffers.  Together, they make a great gift for any girl in your life (or for yourself!). (sidenote: this company has some of the cutest packaging for their products that I’ve ever seen)

This weeks featured shop:  Love and Toast

One of my favorite scents is lime and coconut.  I think I would love this Honey Coconut collection just as much!

I bet this Mandarin Tea pair would be absolutely amazing in the spring and summer.  I can totally see wearing this while lounging by the pool with a drink in my hand.

This Salt’n Sea set just makes me want a spa day.  Yes please!

These may not qualify as “smelly-good” but they definitely qualify as “lookin-good.”  This Pucker Up Lip Glaze compilation would be a fabulous stocking stuffer!

Speaking of sets – this Super Smoother Collection, comprised of six different kinds of Shea butter handcremes, is totally calling my name.

What are some of your favorite smelly-good products?

Product Review: Urban Decay

So the other day I went to Ulta to purchase some new makeup because I ran out of my favorite eye shadow.  I purchased a few new products from Urban Decay and I wanted to tell you about them because I love them so much. 

You see – I’ve never been one to spend much money on makeup.  Usually I just purchase the colors I like in the cheapest place & brand in which I find them.  I’m realizing though, that sometimes the money you spend on quality products is worth it.  You get what you pay for after all. 

The first purchase I want to tell you about is the Eye Shadow Primer Potion.  I purchased the ‘original’ color.  First off, this stuff is $20 and it lasts FOREVER.  I mean, you use this itty-bitty bit each day and this tube is pretty good size.  I’m willing to bet this one tube will last me a year easy.  So the concept of eye shadow primer (in case you’re unfamiliar) is that it helps your eye shadow grip to your eyelids – no streaking or clumping or wearing off during the day.  Now, in the spirit of transparency I have to tell you that I’ve never tried another primer.  However, after trying this one I can tell you that I’ll probably never see the need to try another primer.  This one works great!  My eye shadow sticks all day and doesn’t run (I used to get sort of ‘goopy’ oily corners at the outsides of my eyes and those are LONG GONE!).  If you’re having any issues with the staying power of your eye shadow this stuff is a God-send.  I’ve tried it with several different brands of eye shadow and it works great with them all. 

I also purchased the Naked 2 pallet which comes with 12 taupe & greige neutral eye shadows, an eye shadow brush and a Lip Junkie Lip gloss in Naked.  Ok first off, the eye shadow colors are great.  There’s a wonderful range and so far I’ve used every single color except for the black (which I’m sure most people use for eyeliner but I prefer a real eyeliner stick).  The colors are vibrant and there’s a healthy mix of matte and sparkly colors in varying ranges of pale to dark.  I generally change up my eye makeup every day and this one palette has it all!

In addition I’ve totally fallen in love with the Lip Junkie lip gloss.  Usually I don’t like lip glosses because they’re sticky and don’t get me wrong, this one is definitely sticky, but it’s sooo moisturizing and it stays on ALL DAY LONG.  I just love it.  I put this on in the morning, take it off when I eat lunch and then reapply afterwards and my lips stay soft and supple all day.  The neutral color is great as well because it goes with EVERYTHING!  No more carrying around multiple tubes of lipsticks!  Yahoo! 

If you’re on the hunt for new makeup I definitely recommend checking out Urban Decay.  I’ve been really pleased with my purchases and would buy them again in a heartbeat. 

Do you have any favorite make up purchases that you’ve made?

One reason I love snail mail (part 3)…

Just got my July BirchBox in the mail. 

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Earbuds:  $10 (approximately)
Color Protection:  $24
Tinted Moisturizer:  $38
Perfume:  $98
Lipstick:  $22
Fruit & Nut Bar:  $25.35 (for a box of 15 or approximately $1.69/bar)

TOTAL:  $217.35

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $207.35 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Alterna Bamboo Fade-Proof Fluide

Here’s what the website says:  Weightlessly shields hair with a UVA/UVB barrier to fade-proof color while enhancing vibrancy & multi-dimensional shine.  With rinse resistant Color Hold® UV+ Technology for the highest level of color protection.  Clinically Proven to retain color and brightness for 60 washes.

 Problem:  I don’t color my hair.  In fact, the only person I know who does color their hair is my mom and she gets hers highlighted.  Can highlighted hair color fade?  I mean, it’s bleached.  I don’t think it can.  So, I’ve got to find someone who doesn’t bleach their hair and have them try this out. 

 Jourer Luminizing Moisture Tint

Here’s what the website says:  This lightweight moisturizing tint evens out imperfections and fades the appearance of fine lines with its light-diffusing multi-mineral formula. SPF 20 protects from UVA and UVB rays while Ginseng and Gingko Biloba Leaf Extract deliver antioxidants to skin, promoting a healthy complexion.  Oil Free. Hypoallergenic. Fragrance Free. Water Resistant. Perfect for all skin types.

 Problem:  The color that they sent is ‘bronze’ which is their 5th darkest shade… and I’m part albino (not really, I’m just seriously pale).  So, when I tested this color out on my hand (definitely the most tanned part of my body) it’s reaaaally dark and noticeable.  I’d look ridiculous if I tried this out.  Sooo… my mom has mentioned that she wants to try a new foundation and she has darker and more olive-toned skin so I have a distinct feeling she’s going to get to try this baby out. 

Oscar de la Renta live in love Perfume

Here’s what the website says:  Introducing Live in Love – the new fragrance for women created by a man who adores them. Inspired by Oscar de la Renta’s passion for life, the scent is a reflection of the woman who lives each day the same, filled with joy and beauty.

It doesn’t do anything for me personally but I can see how someone would like it.  I think it’s something my mom might like so she might be getting this one as well.  It doesn’t smell bad or anything, it’s just not ‘me’.

Stila Lip Glaze in action (that’s the name of the color)

Here’s what the website says: Want lips that get all the attention they deserve? Turn on the shine and you’ll be turning heads with Stila’s most popular lip gloss.  Choose from an array of delectable shades that add a splash of color and fabulously matching flavors and scents in one easy click of this famous pen.

 Problem:  I can’t find this shade for sale (or even listed) on their website.  (note:  this is probably due to the fact that it’s from the limited edition It’s Go Time Lip Glaze Trio… but I can’t find that either).  Which sucks because I love this color.  It’s a pinky gold.  Sooo pretty.  I haven’t actually tried it on yet but it’s totally a color I would buy in the store.  I’m curious to see how it wears since it’s not long wearing.  In addition, the applicator is a little strange.  You actually turn the dial at the bottom and it pushes the gloss up in between the bristles.  I’m hoping it’s a good design but I have a feeling it’s going to be messy.  We’ll see.

LARABAR Roasted Nut Roll

Here’s what the website says:  It’s true, we’re nuts about nuts over here at LÄRABAR, and Roasted Nut Roll is a sure sign that we are still as passionate about them as ever. A sweet and salty standout, the shining stars of this bar are the almonds, cashews, peanuts, pecans, and macadamia nuts that bring the crunch and the flavor we go nuts for.

 Problem:  I don’t really like nuts.  So… I gave this to my friend G at work and let her try it.  Here’s what she had to say… ‘I ate the little nutty bar a little bit ago…it was very good…130 calories w/80 of those fat for 2 bites…kinda high and not sure I would want to spend the calories on it unless I didn’t have anything else…but the taste was really good.’  We all know that nuts are high in calories and in fat but supposedly it’s mostly good fat.  So, one of these little bars is probably your daily allowance for nuts.  It does have 5 grams of protein and 2 grams of fiber. 

 I’d definitely have to say the bar I got last time was waaaaay better.

Birchbox Earbuds

Here’s what the website says:  Whether we’re jogging through the park or powering through a laptop session, earbuds are one of our constant accessories. So we started thinking: why stick with the same boring white pair we’ve been using for years? We designed these custom pink and green or pink and blue neon earbuds so we can rock out to our favorite tunes in style. They’re extra-durable and extra-comfy—now that’s music to our ears.

Problem:  If you love these neon earbuds you’re out of luck… they’re not for sale.  Also, I have a pair already that I love and that fit my teeny tiny ears just perfect. 

All in all you’d think that I’d be bummed about this month’s box since I’m not going to end up keeping much besides the lipstick but you’d be wrong.  I’m actually really excited about the lipstick.  AND I get to give the unwanted goodies to some friends/family members and I love giving people stuff so that works out well.  I love getting goodies in the mail, don’t you?

Product Review: What I thought of my BirchBox goodies…

So a while back I mentioned that I’d received a nifty little package in the mail from BirchBox.  Then, a month later, I received my second one (it’s a monthly subscription).  I told you guys that I was going to take all of my goodies with me on my vacation to Lake Tahoe and let you know what I thought.

So, I did take everything, but I didn’t use everything.  I’m not all about the whole makeup wearing/hair arranging when I’m on vacation so there were several items that I haven’t used yet.  I WILL let you know what I think about them when I do.  Promise. 

Here’s what I’ve used (and what I think about it) so far…

Borghese Bagno Di Vita Soak

I used these bath salts the day we arrived in Tahoe.  I was exhausted from travelling (I’m sure having to be at the airport at 5am had something to do with that) and I just wanted to chill when we finally made it into our hotel room.  So, I drew a bath, tossed a package of these suckers in, and soaked for about thirty minutes.  I won’t say that I felt like a million bucks or that I think that these bath salts are anything different than the zillions of other bath salts I’ve used over the years.  However, I will say that they smell very nice, and I like the fact that they turn the water a soft blue color.  It was sort of like being in a small pool. 

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

I actually like this lip stain.  The only thing I don’t like is that you really have to pay attention when you apply it because it can get a little streaky.  As long as you have 30 seconds to focus, and a mirror, you’re all good. This lip stain doesn’t stay on for 12 hours or anything though; if you eat or drink something, it’s gone.  It has a nice, light color though and it doesn’t feel greasy like some lip glosses can. 

LUNA Bar in Chocolate Peppermint Stick

The Luna Bar is AMAZING.  I seriously could devour these.  I’m kind of hoping that Santa remembers to put these in my stocking this year.  YUM YUM!  I’m not sure how they stack up nutritionally against other similar products but the flavor is fabulous and there’s definitely way more protein (8g total) than you’d get by eating a cookie or something similar.  The Chocolate Peppermint flavor has just a subtle mint tone and isn’t overpowering while still being VERY chocolaty.  I’m definitely planning on getting some of these to put in my lunch box.  Soooo good. 

Kerastase Paris Cristalliste Lait Cristal & Bain Cristal with Lumiere Liquide

 

 

The Keratase ‘set’ that I got came with a shine serum that I used once on our trip.  I honestly don’t feel like I can really review this because I’m of the opinion that shine serums only work well on my hair when I straighten it, which I didn’t do.  I put a few drops in my wet hair, scrunched it around a bit and ran out the door.  Since I’m wearing my hair curly now I don’t know that I’ll be able to give this product a ‘real’ review since I don’t have any intentions of straightening my hair for a long long time. 

 

 

One reason I love snail mail (part 2)…

Do you remember about a month ago I posted about this nifty box of goodies that I got from BirchBox?  I still haven’t tried out any of the products but that’s because they’re all going with me on vacation later this month.  I promise I’ll post reviews of them when I have ‘em!

I just received my June BirchBox in the mail and I’ll be honest, I wasn’t as excited with the goodies as I was last time.  That’s just sort of how it goes with these things.  Some days you’ll get stuff you love, some days you won’t.  I’m totally ok with that.

Here’s the rundown of what was in my box (prices are for full-size product):

Bath Salts:  $35 (sale price $25)
Eye Stick:  $15
Lip Stain:  $17
Skin Cream:  $16
Chocolate Bar:  $19 (for a box of 15 or approximately $1.25/bar)

TOTAL:  $84.25

Since I paid $10 for the trial size box I saved $74 (if you figure I could have purchased these in their full-sized varieties). 

Borghese Bagno Di Vita Soak (on sale right now at Amazon)

  • Mineral infused crystals transform your bath into an oasis of calm, blue waters while the uplifting scent of botanical oils soothes tense, tired muscles.

Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in Petrol Blue

  • Let’s talk: Eyeko Fat Eye Sticks for easy-to-apply creamy colour in an instant.  Featuring a rich pigmented formula, the sticks can be used to shade and smoke the eye lid. 
  • Tell me more:  This chubby twist-up eye stick with retractable nib delivers soft, creamy eye shadow for easy application directly onto lids.  Create a smudgy, glossy finish for an effortless effect. 
  • Need to know info:  Make-up artists applaud the intense pigments and blendable colours and we love how user-friendly Eyeko Fat Eye Stick is for smoky eyes in a second. 
  • Tips and tricks:  Creamy formulas guarantee a modern finish. Have fun with this limited edition eye stick dab metallic shades on inner corners; ring round darker hues for smoky eyes or blend to a sheer finish for subtle shading. Wear alone or to add depth to powder eye shadow. For longer wear use primer and set with powder.

theBalm cosmetics Stainiac in Beauty Queen

  • The perfect pop of color for your cheeks and lips, Stainiac hint of tint is perfect for all skintones. Simply dab a touch onto your cheeks for a sheer wash of color or layer for added intensity. And the best part? Stainiac is formulated to give you more time before the stain sets, so it won’t streak.

Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream

  • Use Yu-Be anywhere on the body – even the face and lips.
  • Helps heal split cuticles and smooth rough, cracked and dry skin on hands, elbows, knees and feet.
  • Absorbs instantly and works for hours. Good for all day or all night.
  • Non-greasy formula contains NO artificial colors, fragrances, petrolatum or SPF.
  • CAMPHOR soothes irritation and stimulates blood circulation to improve overall health of your skin.
  • Mild camphor scent fades within minutes.
  • Concentrated GLYCERIN moisturizer helps hydrate, soothe and smooth severe dry skin on the whole family – ALL YEAR LONG. (kids too!)
  • Makes a great massage cream!

LUNA Bar in Chocolate Peppermint Stick

How can something so good for us be so delicious? It’s simple. Start with the best ingredients possible (nothing artificial, 70% organic) and nutrition that matters most to women. Mix with flavors that make mouths water and the rest is sweet (and healthy!) history.

  • High in calcium and folic acid
  • Rich in antioxidants A, C, E
  • 8g protein, 5g fiber