Weekend Recap: BIRTHDAY!

Ahhhhhhhhh, birthdays. This past Saturday I turned 23 and I've got to admit it was one of the best birthdays I've ever had! Shopping, movie nighting and In-N-Outing with two of my favorite people! Woo!

I picked up some cute stuff from Urban Outfitters and Forever 21, as well as Sephora (obviously?!). I'm still waiting on a few things that needed to be shipped to me which is fun because it's kind of prolonging my birthday happiness! Yay.

Although I got some gorgeous clothes and cosmetics and even some stuff from my wishlist, my favorite gift was what I got from Richard. As you can see by the little Instagram shot of the cute card he illustrated for me, we're going to New York next month to see Marina & the Diamonds (since I missed the show here, which we had tickets for). I literally cried from being so excited/surprised/happy. I'm a lucky girl!

I hope everyone else had an amazing weekend! I literally couldn't have asked for anything more :)


Fresh Mini Sugar Lip Treatment Duo

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment SPF 15 (Mini) · Sephora Beauty Insider Gift


As you Beauty Insiders know, Sephora's birthday gift this year is a mini set of Fresh's Sugar Lip Treatment; one in Clear and one in Rosé. I've seen the Sugar Lip Treatments every time I've gone to Sephora but never really stopped to check them out. When I got the birthday postcard I felt kind of meh but was excited to have the chance to try them out anyway.

I've got to say that these are definitely under-hyped (at least as far as I'm concerned) because they're seriously amazing products. I'm not sure how else to describe what they do except for that they basically melt onto your lips leaving them soft and hydrated and immediately ridding you of any chapped-ness. The Rosé color is actually quite nice — it's a pinkish berry color that is pigmented, but still sheer enough to not be too much. I mean, it is a lip treatment after all.

What do you guys think of the Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments? Which are your favorites?


Eylure Naturalites Natural Volume Eyelashes 032

I'm going to start this post out by saying I have never ever ever worn fake lashes. It's not because I don't  or haven't wanted to, it's just because I've honestly never thought about it. My lashes are pretty normal, not really long and not really thick but they do look nice with a bit of mascara.

The Eylure Naturalites are really lovely — they're great falsies without the falsie look, if you get what I'm saying. They add just the right amount of length and a little bit of thickness (but not much). I'm pretty excited because it was my first time ever applying false eyelashes and it was a breeze. I cut them to size and glued 'em on and that was it. I was a little worried that I would glue them all wrong but alas, it was way easier than it seems. I'll definitely be purchasing more of these in the future as well as checking out all the other styles Eylure has to offer.

What are you favorite brands of false eyelashes? What type of falsies do you prefer?

Agent18 Giveaway Winner

I'm super excited to announce the winner of the giveaway as it's been two weeks and I know we're all reaaaaaaally anxious! I'm happy to announce the winner of the giveaway is Heather!!! Congrats and I hope you love the case as much as I do. 


Joico K-PAK Revitaluxe Bio-Advanced Restorative Treatment

I'm always in the market for deep conditioners, hot oil treatments and basically anything else to help bring my dry hair back to life. I saw this little mini in CVS yesterday and couldn't really say no to it. 

I've used Joico products for quite a while; their K-PAK line a few years ago and now their Moisture Recovery line which I really really love. Their products smell amazing and always seem to get the job done, plus they're not too pricey and totally worth it anyways.

I used this this morning in the shower and got instant results. My dry ends felt ridiculously soft and moisturized right as I rinsed the stuff out. Still a bit skeptical, I got to drying/styling my hair (which is basically when I can tell if something has made any effect on my hair at all). I blow-dried as usual and was super impressed with how shiny and hydrated my hair felt. Even after straightening and curling my hair was way shinier and felt a lot less brittle than normal. I've got to say, even after only one use I'm really excited about using this stuff again and definitely see myself purchasing the full size once I run out. 

What do you guys think of Joico? Have you used any products by them? What are your favs?


Birthday Wishlist

My birthday is in exactly one week — can you guess how old I'll be? These are just a few things I've been wanting for a while and are definitely birthday wishlist worthy.

1. ASOS High Brow Mustache Rings - I'm not really into the whole mustache trend but this ring set is just so cute. Eyebrows, glasses, and mustache that stack on top of each other to create the cutest look ever.

2. Enrapture Encode Totem Styler - I've been really into curls and waves as of late and I've heard through the blogger grapevine that this is the holy grail of stylers. The barrel has three separate sections which can be set at different temperatures to create a ton of different style curls and waves. Want. Want. Want.

3. Topshop Jersey Skater Skirt - This is basically the perfect staple skirt for any wardrobe. I'm not sure why I haven't bought it yet, but I'm pretty sure I will within the next two weeks.

4. Clarins Beauty Flash Balm - Beauty Flash Balm is another product I've heard really great things about. I've started to get really into skincare and this is something I definitely want to add to my daily regimen. It brightens and tightens and seems like a great product to use under makeup!

5. NARS Deep Throat Blush - I currently own Orgasm but want something more subtle for days that I feel like less is more. Deep Throat seems like the perfect shade of pink to give me a natural-flush look.

5. Topshop VECTRA3 Studded Slippers in Nude - I love the whole loafter/slipper thing going on and basically want every pair I come across. The nude shade + studs make for a pretty adorable combination. I don't own any nude shoes at the moment (gasp) but will probably have more than a few pairs in my collection in the coming months.


Bumble & bumble Surf Spray

So this wasn't a product that I bought, it was a product Richard bought to style his hair — but what the hell, I figured I'd try it too.

I've always been into having my hair verrrrrrrry straight since it's naturally ridiculously curly, but as of late I like a bit of wave and volume. Today I thought I'd give this a go and it turned out pretty nice. I put it in after straightening my hair, and this was the effect that I got! I did straighten some pieces that were really out of place but this was the overall effect.

I used this with Bumble and bumble's Styling Lotion for a little hold and texture. I have to say, I'm starting to love the tousled beach look especially since it's been glorious outside. Now all I need is a tan!

What do you just think of surf sprays? Have you tried this one?


Benefit: Full Glam Ahead

On my way out of Sephora I saw this little box of goodness and couldn't resist. After my amazing experience with Sun Beam I figured why not try a few more products from Benefit aaaaand of course, I wasn't let down.

BADgal Lash is my new favorite mascara. The brush amazing; it's really big and thick which helps plump up my lashes while adding a nice amount of length. The bottle itself is cute (as with a lot of Benefit's branding) and I definitely see myself repurchasing this once this little bottle runs dry.

High Beam is hyped up like none other. Everyone seems to say its like model-in-a-bottle so I was really excited to try it. Unfortunately it seems that the pinky tones didn't mesh well with my olive skin, but I'm definitely willing to try it a few more times to see if I can work it out. I've thought of possibly mixing Sun Beam and High Beam so maybe I'll try that and see what happens.

Stay Don't Stray is a "360 degree primer for concealers and eye shadows" and it really is exactly that. I use this a lot with my concealer and the one thing I really love about it is how much it brightens the area under my eyes. It holds my concealer like none other, so I'm pretty excited to try this with shadows! I'm not sure it's a product that I need to own, but I definitely love using it and having it around.

Overall I'm pretty happy with this mini set and it was definitely worth $12 (if not more). I have a feeling that I'm starting to grow a serious addiction to Benefit products, and I do have a bunch more things I want to try from them (*cough* POREfessional, CORALista, Hello Flawless! etc etc *cough*).

What are your favorite Benefit products? Any recommendations on what I should try next?


Batiste Blush Dry Shampoo

Let me start out by saying: I have super curly, dry, color-treated hair — because of that, there is absolutely no way I can wash my hair every single day. It will get even drier and the breakage I sometimes see is just crazy. I've been looking for a dry shampoo to use between washes that will ultimately make my life easier. Batiste Blush does exactly that.

This stuff is amazing and soooo easy to use. Shake. Spray. Massage in. Brush. Style. Done. That's it. It helps get rid of all of those unwanted oils while giving your hair a bit of extra body. It also helps make hair so much more manageable on days you go without washing. The smell of this one is really sweet; very floral, hints of vanilla, kind of strong (but not too strong).  I've been using this constantly since I got it and honestly, its a god-send. I'm definitely sold on using dry shampoo, especially Batiste, so much so that I went out and bought another can just to have around (different scent!).

Another thing I love about this brand is the packaging — it's so cute! Each can has it's own personality and there are quite a few scents you can buy/use depending on your mood and what you're looking for. If you're not already using dry shampoo, you should definitely try it! It really is awesome to have around and is definitely something I'll always have on hand.

Have you used Batiste dry shampoo before? What do you think of it? If not, what do you use?
P.S. Don't forget about my giveaway!


Agent18 iPhone Cases {giveaway!}

Aside from makeup, skincare, and other things of that sort, one thing I can't seem to pry myself away from is my iPhone. It goes everywhere with me and holds the contents of my life, so to speak. As with anything else I love having things that add a little personality to everyday items which is exactly why I am in love with these iPhone cases. They're sturdy, thin/light, and absolutely gorgeous. I've been using them both a ton; Vintage Floral when I'm feeling a bit more feminine and the Lux when I'm in a more fun and bold mood. I love how slim and barely there they are while also doing the job of protecting my phone. I definitely foresee myself buying a couple of their other cases — they're just so cute.

Now for the fun part — Agent18 and I have teamed up for a giveaway; enter and you could win the Vintage Floral iPhone case, wheeeee!

To enter you must:

The contest will run for two weeks, so you've got plenty of time to enter. You must do all of the steps above to qualify. At the end of the two weeks the giveaway winner will be announced so be sure to check back! Also, don't forget to check out Agent18's website and Facebook page!

Do you guys have a favorite iPhone case? What do you think of these and Agent18's other cases? 


Real Techniques Brushes

So, I finally got the brushes I've been lusting over and yes yes yes they are worth purchasing. I can't even begin to explain how much I love these brushes, especially the stippling brush. They're so soft, really light, and just a breeze to work with. I use the stippling brush with liquid foundation and the end result is utter perfection. The expert face brush is really great for blush, bronzer, powder, cream based products, etc — so it's really a ton of brushes in one. The setting brush is great for setting powders (obviously), but you can use it for concealer as well.

You really can't get better brushes for the price and the quality is awesome. I'm already looking into getting the core collection and the kabuki brush, but we'll see :). I'm just overall amazed at these little babies considering how cheap they were. Big thanks to Kate whose post made me want to buy these; I love them!

Does anyone else own these brushes? If not, what are your favorites?


Birchbox Man: July 2012

Birchbox Man · $20/mo

Stuff for guys on a women's beauty/style blog. Really? I mean, really? YES REALLY.

We can't forget the fact that I'm married to a man that does like to indulge in skincare and haircare products quite often, so I kind of feel the need to write about it (and why not!?).

I have to admit straight away that I am 10000% more impressed with this box than I was with mine (/sob). Anywho, this pretty little box was filled with some awesome stuff. As you can see we've got some Benta Berry G-1 Super Moisturizing Face Cream, John Allen's Shave Slickwater — two pretty badass products from what I can tell. In the neatly wrapped package, there was a Supersmile Whitening System, and not pictured were the Cordies and the Wrapster from Quirky.

I've got to give it to Birchbox, they definitely packed this full of stuff Richard would be (and is) interested in trying and using. I'm really excited that there is now a beauty box for men that actually caters to the guys likes and needs. The questionnaire he had to fill out while signing up was fun and they really hit the nail on the head with picking things he'd like. Bravo, Birchbox. Now if you could only get mine sorted out :)

What do you guys think of this box? Are you interested in seeing more stuff for men? Would the guys in your lives enjoy something like this?


Finding the perfect flat iron (Part II): KeratinPerfect PerfectLight Deluxe

After my not so great experience with the GHD my search for a new straightener continued and lead me to this glorious tool. I admit I had been looking into Keratin straighteners since my stylist used a Keratin Complex iron on my hair in which lead to awesome results — you can only buy them online which isn't a total drawback, but I just wanted something that would be easy to return if I didn't like it. Luckily when I returned my GHD at Sephora, I found this little guy.

Once again, I came home and was (seriously) impatient to try out what I had just bought. All I can say is oh my god this thing is wondrous. It's easy to hold, heats up fast, and overall gets the job done without burning my hair. The end result was soft, manageable locks and it literally made me look like I had just walked out of the salon. The buttons and digital display make it really easy to use, it's light, and the plates are titanium which seem to help in making my hair shinier. The PerfectLight goes up to a whopping 450º which makes it one of the hottest irons on the market today (it's lowest temp is 280º and I use it around 350-380º). While they say you should use this with the KeratinPerfect product line you definitely don't need to, and I don't; it still works perfectly and yields incredible results all on its own.

I would definitely recommend this to everyone and anyone — especially those with coarse, thick, or curly hair. I imagine it will work really great for straight haired ladies as well.

Goodbye 9 year old CHI, it was nice knowing you <3.


Finding the perfect flat iron (Part I): GHD Purple Peacock

I've had my CHI Turbo for since 2003 — it still works perfectly but I'm afraid that it'll die on me any day now and I won't have a backup. My hair is sooo thick and curly and sometimes wearing it natural just isn't an option.

While at Sephora I spotted this little beauty which happened to be the last one and really wanted to give it a try. I've heard nothing but good reviews so I figured why not (also Sephora's return policy is amazing).

I was immediately impressed with how fast it heated up; it took less than a minute!  Once I started to straighten I noticed that my hair was definitely very straight but also very dry (and not soft at all!). After doing a semi-big section + my bangs I just had to stop — my ends felt like straw and I didn't want to do any more damage than I already had. I was honestly soooo upset because I had read so many amazing reviews but this iron was just not working with my hair AT ALL. I do think main reason was that I didn't have control over the temperature and with hair like mine, I've got to have that control.

I wasn't about to risk the health of my hair for this gorgeous straightener, so I took it back to Sephora today and exchanged it for a few other things (I mean, this is only part 1) ;)

All in all, while the GHDs seem to get great reviews I'm not sure they're the right tool me and my hair temperamental hair type. However, this does seem like a tool that would be great for straight/wavy haired girls who don't really need the all the extra settings. What do you guys think of GHDs?

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