September 2013 Favorites

Better late than never…right?  Well here are some things I have been enjoying over the past month (more like two months).  I also threw in a little bulldog cuteness so that you can see just what it’s like to get anything done when there is a bulldog or sometimes even two “helping.”  Enjoy!

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Max Factor Face Finity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation - I am loving this in spite of it’s ridiculously long name.  This is the first drugstore foundation I have found that I have not hated and that actually has worked for my oily skin.  I will eventually do a full review of this but for now I can honestly say that this applies easily, wears well, and has a really natural finish while still provided a decent amount of coverage.  For those of you in the United States or other places where Max Factor is not available, this is the same product as the Cover Girl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation.

Maybelline Baby Lips Peach Kiss Lip Balm - These suckers finally landed in Germany!  I for one am thankful because they are great to throw in your bag or pocket.  Not only is it moisturizing, but it also contains SPF 20 and provides a hint of color.  I am kicking myself for not picking them up when I was in the States last time.  However, I will be trying more of these.

Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in 07 Plum - I have been wanting to give these a try for ages and have had them in my hands numerous times while shopping but always decided to put them back.  Now I am wondering what I was thinking because this is such a lovely blush.  It gives a nice pop of color with a little shimmer.  This is the first cream blush I’ve tried and now I’m on the hunt for more.  Sadly, I don’t believe that these are available in the U.S. any longer.

L’Oréal Color Infallible 24 HR Eye Shadow in 004 Forever Pink - This caught my eye since it was included in a special display in one of my local Müller stores back in the summer, yep I’m a sucker.  I think this would suit just about anyone and I feel like it would be a good color to start with if you’re interested in trying the Color Infallible shadows.  It’s great as an inner corner highlight but I especially like to apply to the inner two-thirds of my eyelids with a darker matte color on the outer part and in the crease.

The Balm Down Boy Blush - First off, I have to give a little shout out and an even bigger thanks to Jessica (a.k.a. Product Hoochie), for helping me to purchase my very first products from The Balm.  Down Boy is a nice classic girly pink, in my opinion.  I like to apply this with a light hand as it is quite pigmented.  I really need to try out more of The Balms blushes.

The Balm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter - I know I’m late to the game on this, but after hearing so many people rave about this I had to give it a try.  It is such a beautiful champagne colored highlight.  While it does work great as a highlighter on the cheek bones, brown bone and inner corners of the eye, I also like to apply it all over my eyelids for a quick fix to brighten up my eyes on lazy days.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils in Zero & Demolition - Another little goodie from the lovely Product Hoochie who was kind enough to send me these two mini’s since she knew I had been on the hunt for an eyeliner that not only stayed put but also did not irritate my crazy sensitive eyes.  Well lo and behold these really did live up to all the hype and ticked both boxes for me.  I will no longer waste another dime on any other eyeliners and will most definitely be investing in more of these in the future.

Garnier Fructis Schöne Haut Öl (Beautiful Skin Oil) - I picked this up when I stumbled upon it after hearing Estée from Essie Button talk about it.  First off I’m not in love with the scent due to the fact that is has a subtle hint of rose, but don’t let that put you because it is by no means offensive or overpowering in the least and doesn’t hang around forever.  However, I can get past my aversion to rose/floral fragrance because this is truly a great body oil that really seems to moisturize your skin and give it a nice healthy glow.  You also can’t beat the easy on your wallet price tag.  The past few years I really find that I have quite liked Garnier’s body moisturizers.   This is definitely available in the UK but sadly it is not available in the United States.  I’ve also spied a new anti-aging version on the German site so I will be on the hunt for it.

Garnier Fructis Wunder Öl (for hair) - This is the best-selling hair oil in Europe supposedly and I can see why.  It really does leave your hair looking shiny, smelling great and feeling soft and silky while also providing heat protection.  I know there are a lot of other hair oils on the market but this one gives the most bang for your buck in my opinion.  On a side note, I checked the US site and I don’t believe that this exact product is available there unfortunately but I imagine that the Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil might be pretty close and the good thing is that it can be used on your hair as well as your skin.

Thomas Sabo Charm Club - This was a gift from my incredibly sweet friend Angy and I absolutely adore everything about it.  There are a variety of different bracelets to choose from and then you can customize it by adding charms from their huge collection.  Since she knows I am a crazy dog mom she picked the most perfect pairing for me.  Love my little bullies and my thoughtful friend!

I’m trying to get back into the swing of things where my poor neglected blog is concerned.  I just got a box of Zoya products that I had ordered so I’m hoping to get some more nail polish reviews up soon.  Hopefully you and yours are enjoying the fall and all the fun that comes with it.  As always, thanks for reading!

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Essie: Bouncer It’s Me

Long time no see!  I hope that everyone has been enjoying their summer.  I am sad to say that I think summer has left the building, well at least the one I’m living in.  The days spent basking in the radiation of the sun clad in half a bottle of sunscreen and floating around the old swimmin hole are long gone.  Quite frankly I’m more than a little bitter, I’m in fact really pissed.  Our summer got such a later start and it was so short-lived.  I mean I finally get a tan and I have to cover it up before anyone even gets to see my healthy glow.  CRAPTASTIC!  So if you’re somewhere that is blessed with better weather don’t take it for granted and please soak up some more of that summer goodness on my behalf.  Now onto the review.

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand: Essie

Collection:  Neon Summer 2013

Finish:  Semi-Matte

3 Free:  Yes

Formula:  Poor

Application:  Poor

Durability:  (I hated it so much I didn’t even wear it long.)

Coats:  3

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Essie Matte About You Top Coat

Price: $8 USD, $7.95 CAD, €7,95 EUR, £5 GBP

Availability:  One of my favorite bloggers and cosmetic hoarding gal pal, Product Hoochie was actually kind enough to pick this up for me.  I kind of panicked when I didn’t see the Neon’s making their appearance here in Germany, and asked her to pick this one up for me.  However, the collection did finally release, albeit a bit later, in Germany at DM Drogerie stores.  Now I am sure they are sold out though.  You can also  find this color along with the rest of the Neon’s, if you are so inclined, at sites like Zappos, Nail Polish Direct, Beauty Bay, 6 pm, and Nail Polish Canada.

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My Two Cents:   First I feel the need to say that generally I love most things Essie and I would never be so nasty as to just outright trash a company or product but in all honestly this was a total “Loathe It” for me.  First of all, I would not personally classify “Bouncer It’s Me” as a neon.  Secondly this sucker was so dang streaky and uneven once applied that I could not even stand it on my fingers for more than a day.

Although I did not post a review of it, I had even worse problems with “Shake Your $$ Maker,” which I put over a base of Essie Blanc as was suggested.  On a side note I did see some swatches from other girls who seemed to have made this work but now I find myself wondering just what sorcery they used to achieve the lovely finishes I saw.  Sorry Essie, but all relationships have their ups and downs and luckily this is only the second horror show we’ve gone to together, so I think it’s safe to say I still have much love for you!

Tips:    If this is on your wish list I would pass this one up and look for a similar color from a different brand.

Something Similar:  Nails Inc. – Baker Street, Sinful Colors – Endless Blue.

As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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July 2013 Favorites

I have been a bad blogger as of late, but in all honesty I haven’t been wearing much makeup since I was traveling, yep we were in Ireland for what I’ve been told was a very rare heat wave, and also since summer finally arrived here in Germany in full force.  I mean when you live in a place with no air conditioning to speak of with the exception of the sanctuary that is McDonald’s and temperatures often rocket up to or close to 30° C  to 38° C (86° F to 100° F) since we too are amidst a heat wave, it makes me feel a bit hard pressed to put anything on my face aside from the necessity that is sunscreen.  Okay, so enough rambling and onto the favorites!

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M.A.C. Modesty Lipstick – I was looking for a new lipstick that was a tad more neutral than my signature Russian Red and I am happy to report that I found it in Modesty.  It is a lovely subtle shade of pink which is described as a “muted neutral pink” on the M.A.C. website.   I feel that for me, this is the perfect “your lips but better shade.”

Essie Peach Daiquiri – My gal pal Mayti sent me this ages ago and I hadn’t ever used it since corals and oranges look horrendous on me since I tend to resemble Casper the Friendly Ghost much of the year.  However, I have gotten a bit of color this summer and thought that even though this wouldn’t look so hot on my fingers that it would look great on my toes, which it did.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer in Milk Chocolate – All my fellow fair complected ladies need to jump on this stuff.  I originally thought this would be great for contouring, which I personally stink at, but I think that for me this works better just as it was intended to be, a bronzer.  It really does give you a natural looking touch of bronze without making you look like a Jersey Shore cast member.  Oh, and did I mention that it smells like chocolate?

L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Powder – I find this powder works well on it’s own to swipe over my face to even out skin tone as well as to combat redness and shine.  I prefer to apply this with a brush rather than the sponge applicator that it comes with for a more natural even finish.

Real Techniques Powder Brush – Just like all of the other Real Techniques brushes I have, is incredibly soft and works well to go over your face to blend everything together for a finishing touch as well as to apply powder to set your makeup.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration SPF 30 – This has become my go to everyday sunscreen, I even use it on my face and it hasn’t broken me out or irritated my skin at all.  I love that his combines a moisturizer and an SPF which sinks into your skin leaving you feeling soft and moisturized rather than sticky or greasy like most sunscreens.  It has a really nice fragrance that I personally can’t get enough of.  However, if you’re a fan of sweeter scents that this may not be for you.

Vaseline Cocoa Radiant Vitalizing Body Gel Oil – This is such a great body oil and it smells amazing.  I like to apply this right after the shower, especially after shaving my legs.  It absorbs into the skin nicely and gives you one hell of a healthy glow.  Just be aware that a little goes a long way.

Redken Diamond Oil Shampoo & Conditioner – I believe this is a newish product and I am rather enjoying it.  Upon first use I noticed that my hair was in fact softer and shinier.  I am naturally a brunette and go blonde so my hair needs some help in that area.  These have a nice fragrance.  As with all Redken products, these are little on the pricey side, but well worth it especially if you can find them on sale.

Soap & Glory Sugar Crush Body Wash and Body Scrub – After hearing these from numerous bloggers and YouTuber’s I decided to hunt these down and give them a sniff while I was in Ireland.  I obviously liked what I got a whiff and quickly snatched these up.  These smell awesome, kind of like super lime infused Coca Cola.  Aside from smelling great, they actually are lovely products for your skin.  The scrub super exfoliates your skin while still being gentle and moisturizing and the body wash leaves your skin feeling soft and hydrated.

Yankee Candle Co. Sicilian Lemon – So apparently they have Yankee Candle Co. stores in Ireland, I just wish I knew that before because I would have allowed for more weight in my luggage on the way home.  Anyhow, I am a sucker for citrus scents, especially lemon.  It’s also one of the few candle fragrances that Captain Canada doesn’t object to and actually quite likes as well.  This scent is a little less sweet than the previous Lemon Zest candle I had from Yankee.

Flavia de Luce Mysteries by Allen Bradley – I had to include these because they are that great.  I’m currently on the third book in the series but I was hooked upon reading the first.  The setting is early 1950’s post war England in small picturesque country village and revolves around the life of and eleven year old girl.  However, she is not your typical eleven year old girl, Flavia has a deep love and natural aptitude for chemistry and she is about as quick-witted as they come which combines with her insatiable curiosity to contribute to her development into quite the formidable super sleuth.  I don’t want to give too much away, but if you’re a fan of fiction and wouldn’t mind an interesting fun read then definitely give it a look.  If you would like to read more about the books and to find a chronological list of the series then click here.

That’s all for now as I am off to get ready to head to the beach and I use the term “beach” loosely, it’s more like the local swimming hole.  Hey, we are landlocked and for Captain Canada and I being from the Great Lakes region, it’s as close as we can get.  Besides, when it’s this hot, you don’t discriminate just so long as you can find a way to cool off.   As always, thanks for reading, check back soon and I hope that you enjoy your weekend as much as we plan to.

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Tarte Friends & Family Sale is on!

Yep, it’s that time again…for the Tarte Friends & Family sale!  You can receive 30% off your order with by entering the “TARTEFF” coupon code upon checkout.  The coupon code is good today through to August 4th, so be sure to head over and get shopping before the sale ends.

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*Some restrictions apply so be sure to read the details on the Tarte site.  

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Essie: First Timer

Rating System:  Poor, Okay, Average, Good, Excellent

Brand:  Essie

Collection:  Resort 2013

Finish: Creme

3 Free:  Yes

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Okay

Coats:  2

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Seche Vite Fast Dry Top Coat

Price: $8 USD, $8 CAD, €6,30 EUR, £5 GBP

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Availability:  I found this in Ulta when the collection was first released a few months ago.  I have not seen this in Germany yet. However, you can find this collection on Amazon, Beauty Bay, Ebay,  Nail Polish Canada, Nail Polish Direct, 6Pm and Zappos.

My Two Cents:  If you’ve been reading my reviews for a while then you already are aware of my love for green nail polish so when I saw the press release for this collection I instantly knew that First Timer would be joining my collection.  While I love the color and appreciated that applied nicely, I was a little disappointed by how quickly and how much it chipped.  However, it’s not necessarily a deal breaker since it is such a great summery color.

Since I have such a vast collection of green nail polish, I thought I would do some comparison swatches of a few other greens from Essie in particular.  If you find this sort of thing helpful, let me know in the comments below and will try to do more comparison swatches in the future.

Tips:  Always begin with freshly cleaned nails, a good base coat and finish with your preferred top coat.

Something Similar:  Illamasqua – Nomad is the only color that seems to come close.

I know my posts have not been very regular, in fact they have been mostly non-existent lately but as we all know, life gets in the way or some of our pursuits sometimes.  I have so many things to test out, photograph and review at the moment that it is kind of daunting to be perfectly honest.  So you can expect the reviews to trickle out as I get to everything.

On a side note, Captain Canada and I are planning a trip to Ireland in July so if you have any suggestions as to things to do, places to stay, restaurants to eat at in and around Dublin or Belfast, be sure to let me know as this will be our first time in Ireland. As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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