Monthly Archives: February 2013

My Cambridge Satchel arrived!

I have been coveting a Cambridge Satchel for over two years and every so often I would find myself perusing their website and toying with the idea of making one mine only to snap back to reality and quickly close my browser window at the thought of the look on my husbands face when he heard what the price tag on one was.  However, recently I have found myself using the few bags that I have much more often and I felt it was time to invest in a good quality leather bag in hopes that it will stand the test of time.  So last week I ended up on The Cambridge Satchel Company site…again, but this time I decided to check out the clearance section and stumbled across a listing for one of their limited edition black sparkle bags.  After searching for pictures of the actual bag, I knew the time had come to finally place an order.

I called directly to order my bag last week since items in the clearance section require that you actually call to place your order.  While this may sound like a bit of a pain especially with long distance charges considered, but it is for good reason.  While some of the bags in the clearance section are simply discontinued or end of the line items, some of them are there because they are flawed in some way.  Each bag listing explains exactly why it is in fact on clearance.  For instance, the 13″ Black Sparkle bag I ordered had a few tiny lacquer spots on the back, that you can’t even see unless you’re really searching for them.  So it seems that they want you to be very clear as to what you will be getting.  When I called I spoke with the very polite and helpful Jennifer, who took the time to go and collect the bag so that she could have a look and describe to me first hand what the spots on the bag looked like, and then went on to take my information, read everything back to me and let me know when I could expect my order to arrive.  I for one really appreciate great customer service and The Cambridge Satchel Company definitely has it down pat as far as I’m concerned.

My bag shipped from Cambridge in the UK and arrived here in Germany when I was told it would, which was one week to the day from when I ordered it (it was actually shipped out just three days ago as I placed my order at the end of the business day last Friday).  When I opened the box I found that it was well packed with a thick piece of cardboard above and below the bubble wrapped bag to protect it when cutting the tape.  Once I got through the packaging and laid my eyes on my satchel I was pleasantly surprised by everything about it starting with the color of the sparkles which were multi colored rather than silver as I had initially thought they would be judging by other pictures I had seen on the web, bonus!  I then noticed the thickness of the leather, the sturdiness of the hardware and just how well constructed it was.  When I turned the bag over to inspect the back it took me a minute or so to find the lacquer spots which are barely noticeable even to my discerning eye.  Honestly the spots are so slight and are only noticeable if you tilt the bag in the light or as I discovered when photographing it, when the flash reflects off of it.  The fact that this bag ended up in the clearance section due to such a minute flaw certainly attests to The Cambridge Satchel Company’s high quality control.   Behold the beauty that is a Cambridge Satchel…

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Even though I only just received my Cambridge Satchel a few short hours ago, I can honestly say that I love it and I can see myself getting many years of use out of it.  If you’re in the market for an excellent quality leather bag then give The Cambridge Satchel Company a look.  Their satchels come in a wide array of colors, sizes and different styles (there is even a backpack version) so you’re sure to find one to suit your needs whether you need something for everyday, work, school, or your laptop.  You can order directly from them via their official website, just keep in mind that all clearance item sales are final if you decided to go that route.  They can also be found at Bloomingdales and ASOS which is where you can also find some special editions exclusive to ASOS.  For more information on stockists near you, click here.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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February 2013 Favorites

It’s time for monthly favorites again folks!  It seems like this month flew by fairly quickly for me.  I don’t know about you but I am ready to bid winter adieu already.  Quite frankly I just can’t take the lack the sunlight much longer.  By the time the sun finally does make its appearance I won’t be surprised if I find myself suffering from a vitamin D deficiency.  Thankfully we will heading down to Munich next week, so that will provide for a break in the monotony, an opportunity to do a little shopping and most importantly we will be able to spend some time catching up with one of our BFFs.  Now that we’re all caught up, onto my February favorites.

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Maybelline The Rocket Waterproof Mascara – I’ve been testing this out since the beginning of the month and I am really happy with it.  I did notice that it got better with use as I think that initially it was slightly on the wet side.  Now it’s just right.  Full review coming soon.

Maybelline Color Tattoo in Pink Gold – This was one of the new colors they released here in Germany this month.  It’s just a lovely light color that gives a nice subtle glow and a hint of pink that can be built up slightly depending on application.  For you North American ladies, this is exactly the same as the Inked In Pink color that was released as part of the Metal Collection a while back.

NYX HD Eye Shadow Base – That lovely lady we all know as Product Hoochie actually sent this to me in the swap we did a while back.  It really seems to do the trick and I will definitely repurchase this.  Thanks again!

Essie “Where’s My Chauffer” – Back in December when this collection was released I passed this one up as I thought it was too similar to other colors I already owned.  Then when Captain Canada was away in China I had a moment of weakness when I noticed this one lone bottle left and decided to grab it and I’m glad I did.  It is such a nice beautiful, fun color.

Essie “Bobbing For Baubles” – I know I’m late to the game on this one and was lucky to pick it up from the re-release Essie appeared to do of a few colors from past collections here in Germany.  It’s just such a nice dark color, which I’m all about.

Skinfood Milk Creamy Nail “Pink Milk” PK006 – Captain Canada brought this along with two other colors home for me from China.  This is only one of two pink nail polishes that I could tolerate.  Yeah, I have issues with pink shades.  Anyhow, everything was lovely about this right down to the super cute packaging.

Bdellium Tools Precision Kabuki 957 Amazon Purple Exclusive  – This is such a great high quality, super affordable (it’s currently on for half the list price), multi-use brush.  I find this works great for applying my M.A.C. Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.  I know it’s a bit fickle but I’ll be honest, I really do love that it is purple.  You can see my full review and more photos here.

Bdellium Tools Tapered Blending Brush 785 Professional Green Bambu Series – So I finally got a good blending brush and that my friends, has made a huge difference.  I honestly don’t know how I lived without this.

Organic Coconut Oil – I admit I haven’t tested this out extensively yet, but I am already shocked by the magic it worked on my skin in particular.  So far I have used this on areas like my elbows, heals, face, scalp and hair.  I’ve even been applying it on Gemma where she has some super dry patches on her skin where she experiences seasonal balding.  Coconut oil is said to offer numerous benefits to your health and can be used for so many things.  If you’re interested in reading up on the wonders of coconut oil then be sure to check out the extensive list that Hybrid Rasta Mama has compiled on her site.  (Thanks for that great link Jessica.)

Derek Cardigan 7003 Green Tortoise Frames – I got these ages ago but only wore them on rare occasion to be honest since I tend to favor the same pair I have in black.  However, I had my hair re-bleached last week and while I wait for the new hair dye I want to try out to arrive, I’m stuck being super blond for a while and the color of these frames seem to look nicer with my hair.  If you’re wondering where you can find these lovely glasses then just continue on to my next favorite.

Coastal – Coastal an online eyewear company which provide great products for affordable prices and always seem to have additional sales, promotions and contests going on.  I actually did a review of my experience with Coastal way back in the summer which you can see here if you’re interested.  My mom, cousin, sister-in-law and I have all taken advantage of their first pair free promotion, which is still running, and I can honestly say that we are all very happy customers.  Recently I was lucky enough to win a contest they held on Twitter to win a free pair of frames for myself and someone I loved, hey it was right around Valentines Day, so I along with one of my cousins are awaiting the arrival of our new Coastal frames.

While it was great to win the contest, I just really love what they’re doing at Coastal.  As someone who has worn glasses for the majority of their life, I know how important it is to take care of your eyes and how costly it can be when you or your child are dealt the “you need glasses” card.  Coastal makes quality eyewear more accessible to those who may not have insurance coverage or in some cases the exorbitant funds to spare.  So if you or someone you know are in the market for a pair of glasses give Coastal a look.

*Just for the record, Coastal has not paid me or asked me to mention them and I have no affiliation with them.

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Bdellium Tools: Precision Kabuki 957

Brush:  Precision Kabuki 957 Amazon Purple Exclusive

Price:  $7.95 USD, €6,12 Germany, £11.95 UK

Bristles:  Synthetic

Rating:  Excellent

Use:  Liquid, cream & powder foundations, blushes, and highlighters.

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Availability:  You can order direct from the Bdellium Tools site, Amazon.com, Amazon.de, and Amazon.co.uk.  For additional information about availability in your country, click here

My Two Cents:  I have absolutely no complaints about this brush.  It is incredibly versatile as it can be used with any and all types of products.  The bristles are treated with an antibacterial agent and are super soft and gentle.  I am really impressed by how beautifully well made Bdellium Tools are.  This brush is currently on for half of the original list price which is seriously a steal.  Oh yeah, and it’s purple!

While I ordered three brushes in total just to give Bdellium Tools a try, this was the first one I used and quite frankly, it truly was a case of love at first sight which quickly turned into pure infatuation upon first use.  I like to use the Precision Kabuki to apply my M.A.C. Mineralize Skinfinish Natural.  Since I don’t wear liquid or cream foundations, I find that this helps me achieve excellent coverage, especially with a powder product.  Other brushes I’ve used leave me looking chalky but the 957 seems to really blend the product into the skin leaving a more natural looking flawless finish.

This was definitely my gateway brush because just as I said in a tweet to Bdellium, I am smitten.  Since getting into makeup I have been expanding my brush collection by trying out a few brushes from various different manufacturers in an attempt to get a feel for them with the hope that I will eventually land on company that I feel good enough about to make a more substantial investment in a large set of their brushes.  For ages I have been coveting some Sigma brushes, and while I still want to give them along with a few Sedona Lace and Crown brushes a try, I think that Bdellium might just be “the one.”

Tips:  Keep your brushes clean and in good condition by doing a regular thorough wash with soap and water while spot cleaning in between.

Manufacturer Care Instructions:  Wash with regular shampoo, rinse, then lay flat to air dry.  For more information on care from Bdellium click here

I hope you’ve found this review helpful and I highly recommend giving this or any of Bdellium Tools brushes a try.  I can’t imagine you’ll be disappointed.  Reviews of the other two Bdellium brushes I picked up are in the works.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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Swap with Product Hoochie

What seems like ages ago now, Jessica from Product Hoochie and I decided to do a little swap.  As per usual we set our price limit, exchanged wish lists and got shopping.  I actually received Jessica’s package two weeks ago but have just finally gotten around to taking photos and posting.  For some reason I just can’t shake the slump I’m in, I think a lot of it has to do with the severe lack of sunlight, a case of the winter blahs and that nasty head cold deal I had going on last week sure didn’t help matters either.  However, today I’m glad to report that I am feeling better and pretty much back to myself thanks to some help from Grippostad C, the Netti-Pot, Ricola, and Capt. Canada’s chicken noodle soup.

Before I even opened the box I noticed that Jessica had the cutest mailing labels with her site name on them and when I opened the box she included some of her business cards that match.  I think this is such a great idea and I’ve been contemplating having some made myself.  While I did request a few specific items, most of what Jessica sent came as a complete surprise to me.  She included a letter which listed the items she included along with a little explanation why she chose them, which I thought was such a nice touch. I could tell that she really made the effort to include some products that she really enjoyed along with some that she was curious to try herself as well as the items I had requested.  She even added a few little extras which was so sweet of her.

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Leading up to the swap and ever since then, Jessica and I have kept in contact and I have really enjoyed getting to know her.  Not only is her blog awesome but so is she.  If you’ve not checked out her site already then be sure to head over to Product Hoochie ASAP!

Have you done any swaps?  Sadly I have heard some horror stories, so I would advise swapping with caution and only doing so once you’ve gotten to know the person a bit.  I have only done a handful of swaps myself but I’ve had some great experiences and ended up befriending some really lovely people.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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OPI: Goldeneye

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

Brand:  OPI

Collection:  Skyfall Holiday 2012

Finish:  Glitter / Shimmer

3 Free:  Yes

Cruelty Free:  Yes

Animal Tested:  No

Vegan Friendly:  Yes

Formula:  Good

Application:  Good

Durability:  Good

Coats:  2

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  Essie Good To Go Rapid Dry Top Coat

Price: $5.59 – $13.76 USD, $11 – $13.76 CAD, €12,95 – €16,00 EUR, £5.50 – £11 GBP

 

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Availability:   Amazon, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.uk, Nail Polish Canada, Beauty Bay, and John and Ginger.  I know that Ulta carried the Skyfall collection and that some Galleria department stores also carried the collection here in Germany as well.

My Two Cents:  This is a beautiful opaque, shimmery, glittery, gold nail polish.  I can definitely see why there has been so much hype surrounding Goldeneye.  It looks super rich and flashy, you’ll feel as though Midas gave each of your fingernails his golden touch.  I think this looks great on its own but I think that you could also use it for layering to achieve different effects.

I only did two coats but I feel that three coats would have been wise since I tend to do thinner coats.  Also, even though this is rather opaque for a glitter, you may find that you will end up with some slightly more sparse areas.

Tips:  Use a good base & top coat and be sure to go for a third coat if you’re like me and tend to do thinner coats.

Something Similar:  Orly – Glitz & Glamour, Sally Hansen – Gilded Lily, and L’Oréal – Amazon Flash.

I am glad that OPI seems to be doing some more exciting things recently as I found myself falling out of like with them for a while. So I’m interested to see what they do in the year to come.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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