Friday, May 30, 2014

May Ipsy Bag

TGI freaking F! :)

Ipsy is a monthly beauty subscription service.  For just $10 per month you get 4-6 deluxe sized beauty samples and sometimes even full sized products.  Everything comes in a cute little makeup bag which is different each month.

The theme for May's bag is "Fresh Picks" and the bag is a cloth material with a pretty leaf design.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Julep Maven Summer Brights Box

Someone that I follow on Twitter posted THIS amazing deal for a free Julep Maven Summer Brights Box.  I only paid $2.99 for shipping for this entire box.  What I didn't realize was that this signed me up for the monthly subscription box service which I did not want.  I fixed that by calling up their customer service and cancelling my membership right away.

My package came in a cute bright pink box. 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag

Last week I came back from a trip that was half vacation and half business.  I wanted makeup that was appropriate for nights out as well as workdays.  Because of this 2-in-1 trip, I had a difficult time deciding what beauty products to pack.  So be prepared, because I packed a ton!

I put most of my makeup in this Sonia Kashuk travel makeup bag.  Everything that can possibly spill or explode goes in super stylish plastic baggies.  


Monday, May 26, 2014

MAC - Alluring Aquatic Haul

Hello beauties!

Today I'm going to share with you a very fun MAC haul.  I'm sure by now you've seen the new collection by MAC called Alluring Aquatic.  This collection was released in stores last week and has an ocean fantasy-type theme.

As you can see the most appealing thing about this collection is the packaging.  It is an absolutely gorgeous teal color that looks wet with little raised droplets. 


Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Two Shades of Plum...Blushes! NARS Blush in Sin & theBalm Instain Blush in Pinstripe

Today I will be discussing two very similar blushes.

I was going to review these blushes separately but when I saw how similar they are I decided to feature them together. 

I've had the NARS blush in Sin for a few months now and it quickly became my favorite.  The only other NARS blush I own is Orgasm which I love.  I had heard a lot of love for Sin but I just didn't understand the big deal because it doesn't look that exciting in the pan.  Until one day when I had my makeup done at Sephora and the MUA used Sin...I fell in love.  This blush is a gorgeous plum color with a subtle gold shimmer.  It's SUPER pigmented so you have to use a very light hand (I actually apply it with a stippling brush) and the gold shimmer give you the slightest glow.  This has the typical matte black rubber-feeling packaging that NARS is known for.  As you can see in the photo below, it gets dirty and scratches really easily, but when it's brand new it's gorgeous!

Monday, May 12, 2014

BA Star Eye Shadow Palette* - Review

BA Star is the number online retailer of makeup to the Cheer and Dance competition community, which to me sounds like this makeup must be super long-lasting.  I was able to try an eye shadow palette through Brand Backer.

I received the Spicy Natural Eye Shadow Palette.  The package is clear plastic and it includes a sponge/brush.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Blogger Boot Camp Event - Recap

This past Saturday night I attended a blogger event put together by The SITS Girls and sponsored by Invisalign.



This was a free event for Boston area bloggers and it was held at the Hotel Marlowe in Cambridge.

Here are the main things that I learned.

Blog Posts
  • A good post entertains and informs.  It tells a story.
  • Talk about how the content applies to your life.
  • Always use a photo that is clear and large enough to see the contents of.
  • Let your blog post "simmer".  Meaning, don't hit "publish" right away.  I already do this because I write up my posts in advance and always re-read them a million time before they're scheduled to be posted.
SEO
  • Link back to yourself in each post when relevant.
  • Use SEO friendly words in the first 100 words of your post.  For example, if you're writing about a mascara from Sephora, use "Sephora", "mascara", "best mascara", the brand name, etc. in the first 100 words of your post.
Google+
  • Share each and every post to Google+.
  •  On your and other blogger's posts, click the "+1".  This tells Google that this post is important and will tell google to "index" it.  I think this means that the more it's indexed, the higher it will show up if someone is doing a google search on your blog post topic.  Please correct me if I'm wrong on that.  I plan to click the "+1" more on my blogger friend's Google+ posts and hope that they'll return the favor.  Us bloggers gotta take care of each other! :)
Facebook Page
  • When you post your blog post use the photo that automatically pops up from your webpage even if it's bad.  If you don't use that photo and upload another photo, no one will see your post!
  • To get more engagement and followers they suggest posting up to 15 times a day.  Since I'm a small time blogger and not a business, I don't plan to take this advice.  
  • To get more engagement, post different kinds of things like a quote or ask a question.  Right now I only post on my Facebook Page a few times per week.  I'd like to try to post more often perhaps with a beauty tip or a question of some sort.
Sponsored Posts
  • For sponsored posts from SITS in particular (and probably most others), they prefer blogs with at least 10,000 pageviews/month.  I am definitely not at 10,000 but hope to get there in the next few months.  Side note: ever since I changed my comments to the Google+ comments system, my pageviews have increased significantly!
  • They prefer at least 1,000 Twitter followers.
  • Sign up for the SITS newsletter and for Massive Sway in order to get on their mailing list and to be considered for sponsored posts.

Please note that when they were discussing sponsored posts, they were referring to paid posts.  As a beauty blogger, sponsored posts for me also includes compensation in the form of products.  After the talks, I spoke with Tiffany (one of the founders of SITS Girls) about her thoughts on doing "free" posts.  By "free" I mean that although the post is relevant to the blog, there's no compensation whatsoever (except perhaps a promise of MAYBE some blog exposure after the post is published).  Her opinion, and the opinion of the many women that I were also present during this discussion, was to NOT do "free" or uncompensated posts.  You are basically giving that person or brand free advertising and you're using your time and resources to do so.  Think about what your time is worth.  However, if you truly believe in the post or truly want to write it or think that it will lead to future opportunities with that brand or person, then go for it!

I know that sponsored posts can be a sore spot for some.  I see nothing wrong with them as long as not every single post on your blog is sponsored.  Right now blogging is my hobby but I've put in a ton of time into my blog, not to mention all the money I've spent to attend events, buy products to review, business cards, etc.  To be able to supplement those costs by doing a few sponsored posts here and there sounds great to me!

Of course since this conference was sponsored by Invisalign, there was an informational segment on that which I will discuss in a separate post.

The best part of the night was the end where we had some wine, food, and were able to network and chit chat.  I met several new bloggers and got to meet some girls that I follow but never met in person.  Overall, it was a great night!






Monday, May 5, 2014

Beauty Products I've Used Up - April Empties

I hope all you beauties had a wonderful weekend!

It's empties time!  I'll say it again, empties are one of my favorite types of posts because the blogger can give you a tried and true review of the product.  Not to mention, you get mini reviews of tons of products in one post.

Here's everything I used up in April.



Body:

Orchid Luxury Hand Wash
This was a nice hand soap.  I kept it at my kitchen sink in case I wanted to wash my hands there.  This was a gift and I probably wouldn't repurchase because I think it was somewhat expensive and really truly, there was nothing special about it. 

Victoria's Secret Sexy Little Things - Vixen
This was a nice smelling body lotion.  I wouldn't repurchase because I have about a year's worth of body lotions to use up for now. 

Bath & Body Works Vanilla Buttercream Foaming Hand Soap
OMG!  This is hands down the best smelling scent I've ever experienced from Bath & Body Works, it seriously smells like the most delicious cookies!  Sadly, this was a seasonal item and I can't find any other product with this scent.  I can just keep my fingers crossed that they will bring it back for the 2014 holiday season.  If I can find this in a candle I'll buy out the store! 

Hair:



Frizz-Ease Firm Hold Hair Spray
This is my HG hair spray.  It holds my styles really well.  It doesn't leave my hair "touchable" and soft but it also doesn't make my hair crunchy.  I'll continue to buy this hairspray forever.

Fekkai Advanced PrX Reparatives Conditioner
This bottle was a huge pain in the butt.  The dispenser was very hard to push down so I had to use both hands whenever I needed to dispense and often my hands are slippery in the shower.  I know it's not a huge deal, but it really bothered me!  Anyways, this was a decent conditioner but nowhere near worth the price tag.  I would not repurchase.  

Macademia Deep Repair Masque
This is my second sample of this hair mask.  I wish I loved this as much as everyone else but it's just nothing special to my hair.  Sure, it makes my hair soft, but so does the much cheaper hair masks I'm currently using.  I'm not sure I'd repurchase this.


Skincare:



Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser
I kept this in my shower.  It does a decent job taking off my makeup but doesn't rinse totally clean.  I probably won't repurchase.

Estee Lauder Take It Away Makeup Remover Towelettes
I got these in a GWP.  If I had a full eye look going on, I had to use 2 of these towelettes.  I probably wouldn't purchase this because there are probably much cheaper brands that works just as well or better.

Estee Lauder Soft Clean Cleanser
This is a terrible face cleanser and leaves a gross film behind.  I used it to clean my makeup brushes.

The following Garnier samples were provided to me as a Klout Perk
Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil
This did a good enough job of taking off my makeup but I definitely had to use a separate eye makeup remover.  The oil didn't totally rinse away.  You absolutely have to use a separate normal fash wash after using this.  I actually already own a full size of this that I purchased before receiving this sample.

Garnier Balancing Daily Exfoliator
This has a nice scent and made me feel clean after because of the exfoliating beads..  I'd purchase if it was on sale.

Garnier Blackhead Eliminating Scrub
Same as above.  I already own a full size of this scrub.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer
This was a good moisturizer.  Nothing special and I wouldn't purchase because of the price tag of all Kiehl's products.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective White Hydrating Moisture Emulsion
This is supposed to lighten dark spots but this little packet wasn't enough for me to see if it actually does that.  It's a decent moisturizer but I probably wouldn't repurchase it.

First Aid Beauty - Ultra Repair Cream
This was an excellent moisturizer for my dry skin.  I already have this in a full size.

Boscia - Detoxifying Black Cleanser
I LOVED this cleanser!  It gets warm on the skin and did an excellent job of removing my makeup and rinsed clean.  It's not crazy expensive at $28 for a full size so maybe I'd buy it on another Sephora discount and if I ever run out of my current stash of face washes.

Juice Beauty Hydrating Mist
I think I got this in an Ipsy bag.  I used this as a toner and it was fine.  Nothing special at all.  I wouldn't purchase this.  

GlamGlow Youthmud TingleExfoliate Treatment
If you follow my blog you know I love me some GlamGlow.  It's so worth the hype.  This leaves my skin soft, super clean, and bright.  I have the full size of this.

Makeup:
 

Channel Inimitable Mascara
This was my HG mascara for a long time.  It separated my lashes and gave them volume and drama.  I wouldn't repurchase because I have so many mascaras to get through right now, and also Channel has a new mascara that I want to try first.

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Mascara
This mascara was nothing special.  It darkened my lashes a little and gave them some volume.  I have better drugstore mascaras in my stash and I wouldn't purchase this.

Estee Lauder Lip Conditioner
I got this in a GWP.  It was a really great lip balm.  I wouldn't purchase because I have a million lip balms to get through.

Elizabeth Mott It's So Big Mascara
This mascara was awful.  From the first time I used it, the formula was "stretchy" (it would stretch when I took the wand out of the tube...like cheese).  It didn't do much for my lashes either.  I would not purchase.

L'oreal Voluminous Smoldering Eyeliner
I got this with a mascara as a set.  This eyeliner gave me serious raccoon eyes after just a couple of hours.  I'm not throwing this away because it's practically brand new.  I'll see if one of my sisters would like to try it.

Phew!  I went through a lot more products than I thought I did.  How did that happen in just one month??  I hope you were able to get through this post and that my mini reviews gave you some insight on a product you may have had your eye on.

Have a great day everyone!






Friday, May 2, 2014

Frugal Friday - Maybelline Color Tattoo 24Hr Cream Gel Shadow - Review

TGIF!

Today's Frugal Friday will be featuring the Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eye shadows.   These retail for around $7 depending on the store.

I have the shades Bad to the Bronze, Edgy Emerald, Sleek and Spice, and Tenacious Teal.


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