Category Archives: Love It

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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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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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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May 2013 Favorites

Goodbye cold, rainy, depressing May and hello to a hopefully warm sunny June!  May was not nice, the weather was horrible and I was sick as a dog the past two weeks, which is why I hadn’t been posting much and why my monthly favorites post is a bit later than I would’ve liked it to be.  I have been posting little tidbits on my Facebook page though so if you’re not following me on there you can do so by clicking here as it is where I typically post information about various sales and coupon codes.

Before we get started, I wanted to mention that there are only a few more days left to enter my One Year Blogiversay Giveaway.  So if you’ve not done so already, be sure to enter and spread the word.  My friend Jessica, over at Product Hoochie is also hosting a giveaway to celebrate her first year of blogging as well so click here to check out the details and be sure to wish her a very happy blogiversay while you’re there.  Now onto to the favorites!

May2013Faves

Maybelline 24 hr Color Tattoo Barely Beige – This is such a nice neutral cream shadow that can be used on it’s own or as a base for other shadows.  I quite enjoy using this with my M.A.C. Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle brushed over top.  I think everyone needs this little pot of goodness as it would suit just about any skin tone.

Kiko Makeup Milano Smart Lipstick  in 912 Crimson Red – I decided to give these a try since I was picking one up for a friend of mine who thought they looked interesting.  Well I am glad to say that she has a good eye because these are wonderful lipsticks, especially for the price.  This color is out of my comfort zone, but I quite like it.

EOS Lip Balm Pomegranate – This flavor has surpassed EOS Sweet Mint as my favorite from the brand.  I just love how it tastes and I can’t put my finger on it, but something is different in a good way about this formula.

Zoya Dahlia – I am a big fan of black nail polish and as I’ve mentioned before, I am really loving the matte texture trend so this delivers on both fronts for me.  I love the slightly more fun & feminine twist Zoya put on black by the matte finish and with that bit of sparkle.

Zoya Vespa – While this ended up being more subtle than I had anticipated, it ended up being a good thing.  I rarely go for subtle when it comes to my nail color but Vespa still gives a nice hint of green and glitter without being so in your face about it.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Blissful – This is such a nicely pigmented pop of coral that gives your cheeks a surprisingly natural flush.  I love that these can be worn more sheer for a subtle wash of color or applied more heavily for a more vibrant look.

Color Lock Clip – I had seen these a very long time ago in Sally Beauty and passed them by, but while in the States in March I decided to pick them up finally as I was so tired of the cheap crappy metal clips I’ve been fumbling with for years.  These things are so awesome I just can’t say enough.  I use them during styling and when I dye my crazy multicolored hair and these little suckers grab on like a crocodile and don’t let go.

Alex and Ani Four Leaf Clover Charm Bangle – My friend Hilary introduced me to Alex and Ani and them promptly took me to their store in Newport, Rhode Island.  That is where I picked up this bracelet that I fell in love with at first sight.  I love how simple and timeless these charm bracelets are and how easily they can be mixed and matched.  Alex and Ani offer a wide variety of not only bracelets but necklaces, earrings and rings as well.  If you’ve not checked them out then click here.

Ray Ban Sunglasses – I know these aren’t technically a beauty item, but hey they protect the eyes and that’s particularly important for the summer months.  In all honesty, I was lucky enough to win these via a Twitter contest that Coastal put on back in February (they are very present on the social media front).  These are just such a great classic frame.  I know I mention Coastal a fair bit, but I genuinely think they’re awesome.  If you’ve not already checked them out, I highly suggest you do so.  Not only do they have an amazing “First Pair Free” promo, but they frequently have really good sales and contests going on.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend full of sun and fun.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon for more.

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Zoya Vespa

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

Brand:  Zoya

Collection:  Pixie Dust Special Texture Edition Spring 2013 

Finish:  Matte, Glitter, Texture

3 Free:  Yes

Cruelty Free:  Yes

Animal Tested:  No

Vegan: Yes

Formula:  Excellent

Application:  Excellent

Durability:  Excellent

Coats:  3

Base Coat:  Essie Sensitivity Base Coat

Top Coat:  *No top coat

Price: $8 – $9 USD, $8.75 CAD, €6,30 – €12,95 EUR, £5 – £8.95 GBP

 

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Availability:  I was lucky to have snagged my bottle from Ulta during my U.S. visit (Zoya nail polish is not available on the Ulta site). However, you can order direct from Zoya, Amazon, Nail Polish Canada and Ebay.

My Two Cents:   I am really loving the matte texture trend and Zoya has done a superb job with their Pixie Dust range.  While I appreciate other companies take on the trend, I just really like how Zoya has done them with finer particles and glitter making them easy to apply, wear and remove.  The formula is great, there is a variety of colors that seems to be expanding with each new seasonal release and once I paired them with my  good stand by base coat, they seemed to be really durable and long lasting.

Tips:  I know I must sound like a broken record, but I swear by a good base coat and after having to use a lesser base coat initially while traveling, I will never stray from my favorite base coat (Essie Sensitivity Base Coat).  *Also, please be aware that Zoya advises that you not use a top coat with these.  Most top coats provide a glossy finish which will render the natural matte finish of the Pixie Dust polishes null and void.  However, if you’d prefer a high shine finish, go for it.

Something Similar:  No dupes for this one just yet.  If you’d like to get the look on a budget though you could always try experimenting with a matte top coat combined with a lighter green glitter or by sandwiching a more sheer light green over a silver glitter depending on what you have on hand.

I’m having such a difficult time getting motivated still, I think it has everything to do with the weather as we are still waiting for the warm sunny weather to make an appearance for more than just a day at a time here in the upper Franconian region of Germany.  In the mean-time we taking each opportunity we have to get out on our bikes and hole up in the house with the Incredibly Bullie Duo during the frequently cold and often rainy days.

If you’ve not entered my “Blogiversary Giveaway” yet then click the link for more information and get on it.  As always, thanks for reading and check back soon.

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