Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Palette Love: Tarina Tarantino Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette

I love palettes. Eyeshadow palettes, lip palettes, combination palettes...I'm sure I have more than I'll ever need, but I do enjoy them. I also love packaging, and I'll be the first to admit that I have plenty of palettes that have beautiful packaging, but the products within are nothing outstanding. I also have palettes that don't have the prettiest packaging, but they contain great products. Tarina Tarantino's Emerald Pretty Eyeshadow Palette has everything I want in a palette: stunning packaging, high quality shadows in shades that work well together, and creative color names. If you break it down by "cost per shadow", it has a very reasonable price. It is a rather large palette, so that may or may not impress you. Take a look!

The palette is big, measuring 4 1/2" x 6 3/4". It's a sturdy, well-made, substantial cardboard palette--for lack of a better word--with a magnetic closure. It comes in a matching box (not shown), and both have an aqua and green print. The palette itself has beautiful prismatic holographic features on the cardboard that shift and change in the light.

The palette has a mirror inside, although I don't ever seem to use the mirror portion of any palette.

I love the names of the shadows in this Wizard of Oz inspired palette. Click on photos to enlarge and read the names.

To give you an idea of how large (they're huge!) the shadows are, I placed a penny next to them for comparison. Each shadow is 0.9 oz.

Here's a closer look at the shades, which have lovely intricacies in their color. I'll describe the colors in more detail after the photos. Click to enlarge the photos to see the color details.

Top, left to right: Glinda's Kiss, Silver Shoes, Dandy Lion.
Bottom, left to right: Saw Dust Heart, Ozma, Very Wicked.

The swatches are shown in full sun first, and then indoors in natural lighting.

Glinda's Kiss: I thought this was a slightly off-white shade, but one I applied it, I saw much more than that. Some of these shadows have a bit of a duo chrome effect, particularly this one. It's a soft white that shifts to the palest of greens, with a hint of gold, and it's gorgeous. The official description calls this an iridescent white.

Silver Shoes: More grey than silver, this shadow is a darker shade of grey. It's deep and sultry, and it works well for a smoky eye look. The official description calls it a pearlized silver.

Dandy Lion: This is one of my favorite colors for eyes and nails. It's a deep antique golden olive green/bronzey shade. The gold seems to rise to the top, highlighting the olive base. The official description is a pearlized olive green.

Saw Dust Heart: This deep rich espresso brown hue is the lone matte finish in the palette. The official description is a matte deep brown.

Ozma: The cleverest name of all! This is a stunning teal/turquoise shade that is just gorgeous. It's one of the prettiest turquoise shades I've seen. The official description is a pearlized aqua blue.

Very Wicked: A cross between olive green and forest green, this shade has a very deep charcoal/brown base. A smoked-out green is what I would call it. The official description is a pearlized emerald green.

I'm very happy with this purchase, which is available at Sephora for $36.00. The shadows are vibrant, buttery and smooth, wear well with no creasing (I use primer by Reviva Labs), and they have strong pigmentation. I haven't experimented using them wet, but I'm sure that would add even more intensity to them. I should clarify that I haven't used any of them wet other than Saw Dust Heart, which is a matte brown that I use as an eyeliner. There's no fallout from the shadows, and just a little bit goes a long way. With the exception of Saw Dust Heart (matte), they have a shimmery finish with metallic sheen. They blend beautifully, and I'm finding lots of different color combinations using them.

Laura Mercier: New for September 2012


Laura Mercier introduces a luxurious new lipstick that gives lips the ultimate in colour, texture, and finish. In one smoothing swipe, the crème formula envelops lips in rich colour with a semi-lustrous finish. The cushiony, lightweight texture feels comfortable, while pure Olive Oil and Vitamin E provide hydration and give the appearance of visibly fuller and younger looking lips.

· Longwearing formula: 6-8 hours

· Available in 18 shades

· Price: $26


Laura Mercier Lip Pencil is a perfectly textured lip pencil designed to outline, define and enhance the natural shape of the lip. Firm enough to draw a precise thin line, yet soft enough to blend. The creamy formula glides on smoothly and comfortably.

· Longwearing with rich colour pay-off

· Available in 7 new shades, for a total of 18 shades

· Price: $20


Finally, the best-selling Tinted Moisturizer is available in a convenient compact! Laura’s latest innovation features a lightweight crème formula that gives skin a dewy, natural-looking flawless finish ideal for all skin types. With SPF 20 and a hint of color, this portable compact is perfect for travel and touch ups on the go.

· Available in 12 shades

· Price: $45

· *available now at Sephora.com


Laura’a newest fragrance combines two of her favorite notes for a modern and sophisticated scent. The soft sensuality of Amber blends effortlessly with the warm comfort of Vanilla to create a fragrance of feminine elegance and sophistication. Infused with fresh floral notes of Tangerine, Tiger Orchid and Heliotrope, and enhanced by Almond, Brown Sugar, Coconut and musky Sandalwood, the effect is an intimate, personal fragrance that is rich, yet discreet.

· Available in Honey Bath, Scrub, and Souffle Body Crème

· Price: $40, $46, and $55 respectively

Monday, July 30, 2012

New from Softsoap! Citrus Splash & Berry Fusion Body Wash

Softsoap is introducing a new body wash in August! I always enjoy Softsoap's body washes, because they're so reasonably priced, they make some wonderful scents, and they do a good job of cleaning and moisturizing my skin. Citrus Splash & Berry Fusion will be available soon at mass retail and grocery stores, and it has a retail price of $3.48/18 fl. oz. This has a fresh fruity/berry scent with an underlying burst of citrus.

Check out that beautiful bright blue color! This is a moisturizing formula with suspended moisture beads that leave skin soft and smooth. The beads are soft and gel-like, so they melt right into your skin and are not really noticeable in a tactile sense. The formula is a thick gel, and it lathers up very well. The fresh, fruity aroma doesn't linger on your skin, so it won't interfere with any fragrances you want to wear after your shower.

Infused with natural berry extracts (strawberry, peach, raspberry), these ingredients not only add to the aromatic pleasure, but they also contain anti-oxidants and vitamins to help skin retain elasticity and renew skin cells. In addition, these extracts contain moisturizing properties. Sweet almond seed extract is also found in this shower gel, which aids in moisturization, and is an excellent emollient to soothe and soften skin. Shea butter is yet another beneficial ingredient found in this product, and it works well with the fruit extracts and sweet almond seed extract to improve skin's elasticity, and heal and soften skin.

This is a very refreshing scent in the shower, and just a small amount on a bath pouf gives me plenty of lather. It rinses clean, leaves my skin very soft and smooth, and it also works great when used as a shaving gel.

*Product featured was furnished by the manufacturer or PR firm for consideration.

Friday, July 27, 2012

All You Best Beauty Buys 2012 & A Giveaway!

All You Magazine has released the product winners in their Best Beauty Buys 2012, and you can find them all in the issue that hit newsstands today. Hundreds of products were tested across 4 categories: Make Up, Facial Skin Care, Body Skin Care, and Hair Care. 28 products made the cut, and were selected as the best affordable beauty products that feel like a full-on splurge!

Giveaway: To celebrate the winners, All You Magazine will be giving one of my readers a prize package that includes an assortment of 10 full-sized products from the Winner's Circle! If you'd like to enter for a chance to win this fantastic prize package, just leave your eMail in the comments section below. Let us know if you have any of the winning products listed below in your personal stash! As always, if you aren't comfortable leaving your eMail, leave a comment anyway, then check back August 2, 2012 when I announce the winner and you can contact me (mej0620@hotmail.com). Contest ends at midnight, August 1, 2012. Open only to residents of the U.S. Followers only.

All You Magazine sent over several of the winning products for my review, so I'll be working my way through those over the next couple of weeks. My favorite winning item is one I'm very familiar with, Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon eye shadow collection in Comfort Zone ($5.00, available at mass retailers). I know a lot of you have and love this product also.

I have 4 of the winning items in my stash, and they were all in the make up category. Here's a complete list of the winning products (hey, where's the Nail Polish?!!):

Make Up Category:

Lip Gloss: Sally Hansen Moisture Twist 2-in-1 Primer and Color in Fuchsia Fusion $5; at mass retailers.

Mascara: CoverGirl LashBlast Volume Mascara, $9; at mass retailers.

Bronzer: Milani Bronzer XL All Over Glow, $9; at mass retailers.

Eyeliner: Almay Liquid Eyeliner Pen, $8; at mass retailers.

Concealer: Physicians Formula Youthful Wear Consmeceutical Youth-Boosting Concealer, $13; at Ulta.

Blush: Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush in Fresh Pink, $8; at mass retailers.

Tinted Lip Balm: Neutrogena Revitalizing Lip Balm SPF 20 in Healthy Blush, $8; neutrogena.com

Foundation: Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation in Vanilla, $10; at Target.

Eye Shadow: Wet ‘n’ Wild Color Icon Eye Shadow Collection in Comfort Zone, $5; at mass retailers.

Lipstick: Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Cherry Tart, $8; at mass retailers.

Face Products:

Eye Cream: L’Oreal Youth Code Eye Cream, $25; at mass retailers.

Face Wash: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser, $7; at mass retailers.

Acne Treatment: La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo, $37;

Best Anti-aging: RoC Retinol Correxion Max Wrinkle Resurfacing System, $27; at mass retailers.

A.M. Lotion: Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream SPF 15, $13; at mass retailers.

P.M. Lotion: Olay Total Effects Tone Correcting Night Moisturizer, $22; at mass retailers.

Lip Treatment: Aquaphor Lip Repair and Protect with broad spectrum SPF 30, $5; at mass retailers.

Hair Products:

Hair Color: Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam, $9; at mass retailers

Deep Treatment: Aussie Moist 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner, $3; at mass retailers.

Serum: Sally Hershberger Hyper Hydration Super Argan Serum, $15; at CVS.

Styling Product: Nexxus Frizz Defy Styling Creme, $11; at mass retailers.

Heat Protector: John Frieda Full Repair Style Revival, $9; at mass retailers.

Conditioner: Organix Repairing Awapuhi Ginger Conditioner, $8; at mass retailers.

Shampoo: Salon Grafix Healthy Hair Nutrition Conditioning Cleanser, $9; at mass

Body Care Products:

Lotion: CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion, $15; at mass retailers.

Body Wash: Dove VisibleCare Renewing Crème Body Wash, $7; at mass retailers.

Deodorant: Secret Outlast Clear Gel Deodorant, $5; at mass retailers.

Scrub: SheaMoisture Olive and Green Tea Body Scrub, $10; at Target.

Whew! That's a long list! I always enjoy reading which products magazines name as "The Best", and I normally have some of them or have used some in the past. I also end up discovering "new to me" products in these "Best Of" articles. I'm looking forward to trying out all of the products they sent over, but some that I'm particularly interested in, include the Sonia Kashuk Perfecting Luminous Foundation, the CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion, the L’Oreal Youth Code Eye Cream, and the Simple Vital Vitamin Day Cream SPF 15.

All You Magazine is available exclusively at Wal-Mart or by subscription. The winners in the Facial Skin Care category can be found here, and the winners in the Make Up category can be viewed here.

You can follow All You Magazine on Facebook and Twitter for lots of money-saving ideas, beauty tips and tricks, coupons, free samples, and more.

*Products and prizes featured furnished by the publisher of All You Magazine.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Collection Review & Giveaway Reminder

Reminder: If you haven't entered Jurlique's Facebook Contest (see box in the right hand column), you still have time! The contest ends tomorrow, so click on the Facebook logo and get your entry in. You could win a complete 3-piece set of their Rose Moisture Plus Skin Care.

Jurlique's new Rose Moisture Plus line consists of three products that gently cleanse, moisturize, hydrate and freshen your facial skin. The delicate rose scent is both enjoyable and calming to me. Jurlique describes this line as follows: Introducing NEW Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus with Antioxidant Complex, a dual-benefit, high performance skincare range for luxurious hydration and protection against environmental aggressors, in three easy steps. Developed exclusively around Jurlique’s classic blend of rose essential oils, this system is specially formulated to target the first signs of moisture loss, delivering long-lasting moisturization and antioxidant protection.

Moisturising Cleanser (3.3 fl. oz./$22.00)
This is a light creamy cleanser in a flip top tube. All of these products come packaged in recyclable boxes. The cleanser foams up nicely, rinses clean, and leaves my face feeling so soft and silky that it doesn't feel like it even needs a moisturizer. Not that I would go without moisturizer--I'm fighting an aging battle here! There's Pumice in the cleanser, which helps to exfoliate and polish the skin, and a host of other beneficial ingredients. You can click on the photo above to read all of the ingredients.

Moisturising Cream (1.4 fl. oz./$42.00)
This product also comes in a flip top tube. The formula is very rich, and although it's on the high side price-wise, a little does go a long way. I notice immediate smoothing of fine lines after applying this, and my skin feels very soft and hydrated. In the Summer months, this seems a little too heavy on my combination skin, which tells me that it will be perfect in the colder Winter months to alleviate dryness and flaky skin. I'm having very good results using this as my night moisturizer, and my skin looks radiant in the morning. It's rich in plant oils, including Rosehip, Avocado, Safflower and Macadamia. I expected it to have a greasy feeling with those oils, but it doesn't at all, and it absorbs well into my skin. You can click the photo above to read the ingredients, and they're also listed on Jurlique's web site.

Rosewater Balancing Mist (1.7 fl. oz./$22.00)
This product is packaged in a frosted glass bottle with a spray pump applicator. I find it perfect for the hot days we've been having all Summer. Just a couple of spritzes on my face gives me a cool, refreshing feeling. It not only refreshes your skin, but it also hydrates with Marshmallow Root Extract and Aloe. I've also been using this product a couple of other ways--as a toner after cleansing, and as a "finishing" spray after I've applied my make up.

These products are not only a treat to my sense of smell, but they are very hydrating and seem to contain plenty of antioxidant protection. The only product I've tried from Jurlique previously, was a tube of their Lavender Hand Cream, which I was very happy with. After using this facial care set and seeing good results, I'm looking forward to using some of their other products.

About Jurlique
Since 1985, Jurlique has pioneered natural, high-performance skincare products. Founded in an ideally suited and unpolluted environment in South Australia, our mission is to provide the purest, most effective skincare through nature, science and innovation. We maintain our commitment by creating high-performance, authentic skincare for all skin concerns. Our formulas contain natural alternatives to commonly used skin irritants, including synthetic ingredients such as hydroquinone, artificial dyes, perfumes and preservatives. Jurlique delivers effective results – minus the sensitivity and irritation.

Your can follow Jurlique on Twitter here and on Facebook here to stay up to date on specials and product information.

PRIZES: Twenty (20) winners will receive a complete Jurlique Rose Moisture Plus Collection. Each prize consists of one (1) full-size 100ml Rose Moisture Plus With Antioxidant Complex Moisturising Cleanser, (1) full-size 40ml Rose Moisture Plus With Antioxidant Complex Moisturising Cream, and one (1) full-size 50ml Rosewater Balancing Mist. Approximate retail value of prize is $90.00 exclusive of shipping and handling.

*Products featured were furnished for review by the manufacturer or their PR firm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

All You Magazine's Best Beauty Buys 2012 Announcement & Giveaway This Friday!

This Friday, July 27, ALL YOU Magazine will announce the winners of their Best Beauty Buys 2012! In celebration of the winners, I'll be hosting a giveaway with All You this Friday, which is when the issue with the winners hits the newsstands. All You tested hundreds of lipsticks, lotions and everything in between to find 28 affordable products that feel like a full-on splurge. So be sure to check back this Friday when the winners of the Best Beauty Buys 2012 are revealed. I'll be sharing many of the products with you in the form of photos and mini reviews/first impressions at that time, and my readers will also have a chance to enter for a chance to win an assortment of the winning prizes!

I subscribe to All You and enjoy the articles, recipes, and fantastic coupons--many of them are for some of our favorite drug store beauty products. ALL YOU is geared toward the value-driven woman, helping her enjoy life for less. The magazine, which reaches 1.5 million consumers, is sold exclusively at Walmart and by subscription. The brand that helps women shop smart is offering yet another way to save – ALL YOU is announcing a price break on the August issue to $2.49 (down from $2.99)! My subscription more than pays for itself with the coupons I use from it each month.

In the meantime, here are a couple of beauty product-related links from All You to check out. The first is Beauty Products Under $10.00. I always love reading these types of articles to see how many of the featured products I have. Of course I also usually end up finding something I don't have that sounds promising, so I need to go out and buy it! I have five of these products.

Here's a look at some of the Best Beauty Buys 2012 runners up. I only have one of these products, and it's just a foil-type sample from a magazine insert that I haven't yet tried.

Do you have any of the products featured in the links? Does anyone want to take a guess as to what some of the winning products might be?

Reviva Labs Summer Skincare Review/Giveaway for July

Reviva Labs is hosting their Summer Skin Care Giveaways on a number of blogs all Summer long, and July's giveaway features their Light Skin Peel and Seaweed Soap. Both of these products are great for exfoliating your skin during the Summer months. Below are some words of advice on the benefits and importance of exfoliation from Mr. Strassler, the President and Founder of Reviva Labs. He also discusses the use of the Light Skin Peel.


Every day, new cells form in the bottom layer of the epidermis and slowly travel upward to the skin surface. During this 30-day journey, the cells gradually lose moisture. At the surface they die. They dry out completely and turn into flakes. That is where the concept of “exfoliation” comes to play. Exfoliation involves the removal of dead skin cells which cover the surface of our skin. Weekly removal of dead skin cells is essential in good skin care for the following reasons:

• Dead skin cells that accumulate on the skin surface dull the complexion; keep skin tone from looking fresh. Each week you have dead cell build-up, dulling and clouding the skin, depriving it of its smoothest texture.

• Besides dulling skin tone, when a sufficient amount of dead cells aren’t removed, other harmful effects can occur. Bacteria, dust and toxins can accumulate within … pores can get congested and block normal oil flow to the surface, causing blemishes.

• Dead cells obstruct treatment products from being absorbed. Even the best products can’t do their job if they’re just sitting on top of dead cells. Without exfoliation, even the best moisturizer or night cream can’t penetrate the excess cells. So exfoliation is important for every skin type … and all ages … and it is particularly vital for aging or blemished skin.

Reviva was one of the very first companies to introduce the European concept of exfoliation to America in the 1970’s. Whereas exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids take weeks to show results, Reviva’s UNDUPLICATED LIGHT SKIN PEEL EXFOLIANT immediately removes dead cells, bringing out the clear, moist new skin cells below, helping revive your complexion. If you are using alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic acid, you can still use our Light Skin Peel once-a-week on a day that you don’t use the Glycolic Cream. In fact, the use of Light Skin Peel will speed-up the results of a glycolic program as well as shows the immediate improvement in skin texture.

For dry skin, our formula invigorates new cell activity as it removes dead cells. This improves metabolism and allows new cells to arrive at the surface with more moisture, helping to alleviate dryness.

For oily skin, it helps unclog pores so that there can be normal oil flow to the surface. Blemishes occur when oil gets backed up in pores, harden and can’t reach the surface.

For aging skin, cell-building and circulation are inter-related. Light Skin Peel is invaluable when cells do not regenerate normally in aging skin. Cells do eliminate waste materials properly via blood circulation. Not “breathing” properly, skin cells then can create a blotchy complexion or discoloration. This would be added to the dryness problem.

“Light Peel’s” effect is not abrasive. There is no harsh stretching of the skin. So it is safe for the most fragile, sensitive skin. The dead cells and waste materials are simply enclosed by the grainy liquid and removed.


Your body also benefits from exfoliation, and the Seaweed Soap is filled with seaweed grains for gentle scrubbing to slough away dry skin. This vegetable-based soap of palm and coconut oil is gentle, all natural, and effective. This soap was my first introduction to Reviva Labs several years ago, and I still enjoy using it. It leaves my skin soft and smooth, and even my husband loves it. It lathers up very well, and you can really feel this bar exfoliating your skin. I've used many soaps with exfoliating beads or grains, but the Seaweed Soap is by far the best at exfoliating. All natural, no animal fat in the base, clean, fresh, smooth skin that feels moisturized. What more could you ask from a bar of soap?!!

One lucky reader will be randomly selected to win July's Summer Skincare Giveaway and receive both the Light Skin Peel and the Seaweed Soap. You can find the ingredients for both of these products by clicking on their titles up in the first paragraph of this post. Reviva Labs makes only all natural products, and they never test on animals.

Entry Details: If you'd like to enter for a chance to win Reviva's July Summer Skincare Giveaway, just leave your eMail in the comments section below. If you aren't comfortable leaving your eMail, please simply leave a comment and check back on Wednesday, August 1, when I announce the winner. You can then eMail your contact information to me at mej0620@hotmail.com. We have some more great Summer Skincare Giveaways from Reviva in August and September! Deadline for entries is July 31, 2012 at midnight. Note: Reviva Labs will be shipping the prizes direct, so this is only open to residents of the U.S. Followers only.

*Products featured and prizes furnished by Reviva Labs.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bath & Body Works We Love Paris V.I.P. Tote $20.00

Bath & Body Works is offering their We Love Paris V.I.P. Tote online beginning today, and in-store beginning tomorrow. The seven piece product set with the tote bag is available for $20.00 with any $30.00 purchase. The online code is PARISTOTE.

Say Bonjour to all-over beauty with our lovely tote brimming with 7 luxurious Parisian treats! From lavish shea-enriched shower gel to luscious lip gloss, your fave formulas are fragranced with our dreamy Paris Amour, a beautiful blend of French tulips, apple blossoms and sparkling pink champagne. This natural canvas tote has a pink bow print, pink and white gingham interior and a pull-tab zipper to complete its darling look!

Includes Signature Shea Enriched Shower Gel (10 oz.), Shea Enriched Body Lotion (8 oz.), Fine Fragrance Mist (8 oz.), Liplicious Lip Gloss (.47 oz), Pocketbac (1 oz.), Pink Pocketbac Holder, Pink Gauze Sponge.

Our exclusive Paris Amour is a dreamy blend of French tulips, apple blossoms and sparkling pink champagne, inspired by a romantic stroll through the streets of Paris
Key Fragrance Notes: French Tulips, Apple Blossoms and Pink Champagne
14.5" x 4.25" x 11.25"

Monday, July 23, 2012

New from Color Club: Ruby Wing Color Changing Polish

I came across this information through a link on the Color Club web site! Ruby Wing Color Changing Nail Polish is a new offering from Color Club. There are currently 18 shades available, with a retail price of $12.00 each. If you hover over each color on the site, you can see the color change. Here's what their site has to say:

You're a free-spirited girl. You appreciate a great music festival as much as a hike in the woods. You embrace the notion of creating waves, but you'd rather be riding them. You love the beach even though your life doesn’t always feel like a day at one. You celebrate life and all it has to offer, and you change your mind all the time—just because you can. Now, there’s a nail polish that celebrates you.

Ruby Wing™, the first collection from SolarClub, is every free spirit’s dream: nail polish that changes color in the sunlight or daylight.

(SolarClub is part of the New York-based company Forsythe Cosmetics®, manufacturer of Color Club®-a brand dedicated to celebrating color in all its form. SolarClub represents a perfect blend of east and west, city and country, day and night.)

Color changing polish has traditionally been unpredictable. But after years of research and development, SolarClub has perfected the most consistent, stable, and durable SolarActive® technology to date.

Formulated and bottled in New York City, every Ruby Wing polish is completely non-toxic, environmentally safe, and 4-FREE (no harsh chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde, camphor, and DBP). Plus, they're vegan, and never tested on animals. Your life is full of variety and change. Shouldn't your nail polish be, too?

Even more exciting to me is that they also have a six-piece holographic collection coming out called Halo Hues!

Source: Color Club/www.cosmeticgroup.com

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anastasia Beverly Hills See and Be Seen Kit

Anastasia Beverly Hills has a beautiful limited edition kit that's only available until the end of this month. This kit can be found at Sephora and Anastasia Beverly Hills, and it retails for $44.00. This set contains:

- 2 x 0.07 oz Hydrafull Gloss in Heiress and Plastic
- 0.32 oz Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel
- 2 x 0.04 oz Illumin8 Eyeshadow Duo in On Set

All of the products are packaged in a nicely designed box with foil print and graphics. It flips up to reveal a pictorial of the products.

This View-Master was included in my review kit, along with disks to view details about the See and Be Seen Kit, and the Lash Genius. The View-Master isn't included should you order either of these products, but I thought it was a pretty cool retro/vintage way to present their product information. Takes me back to my childhood!

Inside the kit you'll find all of your products neatly bundled in tissue wrap imprinted with the Anastasia logo.

The packaging of the products is lovely, with a mirrored chrome colored eye shadow case and mirrored chrome ends on the lash tint and glosses.

The first product shown is the Tinted Brow Gel in Caramel. This is a medium golden bronze shade that highlights brows and holds their shape. I normally use Revlon's Clear Brow Gel, but the Anastasia product has far better hold for me. It's also fortified with botanical hair conditioners and essential oils. My eye brows are black, but right now my hair is highlighted to a Level 7, so it looks much more natural and wearable on me than I initially thought it would. It matches my highlights very nicely. I think this would work beautifully all year round for someone with lighter eye brows, but I don't think it will work as well for me when my hair is colored darker come Fall. It's always nice when you can find unconventional ways to use a product, and I also find that this does a tremendous job of touching up my grey hairs at the temple area between coloring appointments!

The Hydrafull lip glosses are a new favorite of mine. Plastic is the top Barbie pink shade, and Heiress is the bottom coral pink shade. These glosses are so creamy and although sheer, they are much more pigmented that you would think. They contain a lip tint, so the color lasts beyond the glossiness. I still have color on my lips 4-6 hours after applying these. They feel very luxurious, they're not too sticky, and they leave my lips feeling very hydrated and temporarily plumped up a bit. I can't say enough about how beautiful these shades are, but they are not available for individual resale. Hydrafull glosses are clinically proven to help maximize and maintain lip hydration and fullness. Anastasia also offers 8 additional shades of this product, and they retail for $18.00 each.

The applicator has a design that I've never encountered before, but it seems to get the job done. It's a plastic flexible paddle that picks up the product rather than a doe foot sponge or a brush applicator. Once I got the hang of it, it applied the gloss nicely. You can see the formula better in this applicator photo--it reminds me of Jello or Jolly Rancher candies--sheer, but well pigmented.

The eye shadow duo is called On Set. The palette itself measures about 2.25" square. It contains a mirror and a foam tipped applicator.

The shadows are shown below in natural light indoors, and outdoors in full sunlight. The shade on the left is a rose gold, and the shade on the right is a golden bronze. From Anastasia: ILLUMIN8 Eye Shadow Duos are designed to illuminate, firm, and smooth the appearance of skin while also soothing, softening and hydrating. The shadows apply well, they're buttery soft, and they have a decent wear time with no creasing (I used Reviva Labs Make Up Primer). They blend beautifully, and they have good pigmentation and are buildable.

I should mention that all of these products are full sized, so it's a great way to get a nice assortment of Anastasia products for far less than you'd pay individually. I'm very pleased with everything in this kit, particularly the Hydrafull glosses. You can find all of the ingredients for these products on the Anastasia Beverly Hills web site. Again, this product is only available until the end of the month, so if you're thinking about getting it, now is the time!

*Products featured were furnished for consideration.

Review: Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe

My hair probably causes me more grief than any other element of my appearance, and of course I make matters worse for my finely textured tresses by coloring, highlighting, blow drying, and flat ironing it on a regular basis. My hair is naturally a Level 2, although I haven't seen it that color in decades. Every Spring my stylist begins the lightening process that brings me to a Level 7 by the time Summer begins. This year I left it darker by choice, then in my typical fashion decided I wanted it lighter without having to gradually bring the color up over 2-3 months. I wanted it lighter NOW! Of course my impatience meant bleach would be involved, and that always causes even more problems in the end. To say that my hair is dry and damaged is probably a bit of an understatement. It's not my stylist's fault, it's my own. I know the risks, I take them, and then I use every treatment I have to bring my hair back to a healthier place. But I have the color I want for Summer, so part of me is happy. The dryness, the flyaways, the breakage...that part doesn't make me so happy. I typically use a lot of different products each day to make my hair look healthier than it is when it's this light, but honesly, nothing has ever worked to actually repair the damage. Until now!

Joico K-Pak Revitaluxe is doing more for my hair than all of those other products have ever done. It's not just making it look healthier, it is healthier. When I received some products from Joico to try out, I was curious about them because in my vast assortment of hair products, I only have one Joico product, their Split Ender Mender. That product, mixed with CHI Silk Infusion, is a daily cocktail for my ends when my hair is showing signs of damage and distress. After using Revitaluxe just one time, I noticed a difference. I've since been using it 3 times a week, and my hair is soft, smooth, and I'm not quite sure where the split ends have gone, but they are barely noticeable anymore.

The formula is a fairly thick cream that has a floral scent. I apply it to clean wet hair, leave it on for 3-5 minutes, and then rinse. I follow up with my regular conditioner because Revitaluxe does contain protein, which can dry my hair out if I use too much of it.

Product Description: The new K-PAK RevitaLuxe Bio Advanced Restorative Treatment actually repairs and restores years of damage instantly by reconstructing the hair structure from the inside out. What's more, it offers dramatic cumulative benefits, by continuing to correct and protect strands with regular use. With its unique combination of advanced damage repair plus superior moisture infusion, RevitaLuxe instantly transforms overly-stressed and compromised strands into luxuriously soft, strong and healthy hair.

Groundbreaking Technology: The RevitaLuxe Restorative Treatment features Joico's new bio-advanced, patent-pending, Keratin Peptide Complex which actually mimics the natural hair repair mechanism that exists deep within the cortex of each hair strand. This complex features bio-mimetic peptides that actively target and rebuild weak, damaged and broken areas on the hair, instantly strengthening and rejuvenating. Tests on actual salon clients show that after just one use, hair contains four times as many healthy keratin peptides as it did before application; and after three days of use, it contains more than seven times as many peptides. This means that in addition to repairing existing damage, RevitaLuxe continues repairing and it stands guard against future damage from chemical, environmental and thermal stressors by creating a "molecular bandage" on the hair surface. It also helps prevent premature color fading and maintains color luster.

I am so impressed with how well this product has restored my hair! It's stronger, shinier, fuller, and there is less hair going down the drain. You may have to experiment with how often you use this product because as I mentioned, it does contain protein which helps build strength, but that can also cause your hair to become dry and brittle if it's used too much. After reading a lot of online reviews, some ladies use this daily with no problem, while others with hair more like my type have found better success using it just a couple of times a week, followed by their conditioner.

If you're looking for something that will really make a difference in the damaged condition of your hair, read some of the online reviews. This product receives a lot of love, and I now understand why. You can view Joico's official fact sheet on this product here for more information. I'll be sharing my thoughts on some of their shampoo/conditioner lines in the coming weeks, and I'm now very interested in more of their products. Let me know if you have any Joico favorites that you would recommend.

Pricing: This product retails for about $15.00 for the 5.1 oz. tube. It's also available in 16.2 oz. and 1.7 oz. sizes. You can find Joico products at fine salons and various online e-tailers.

*Product featured was furnished for consideration.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Essie Fall 2012: Stylenomics

Here's a quick print ad scan showing Essie's Fall 2012 Collection called Stylenomics. I'm not really feeling it, but that could always change! There are some swatches available if you do a Google search. These have an August 1 release date. As always, click to enlarge detail.