Product Reviews

get the REAL beauty scoop, and take inventory of products with exclusive reviews

WEN

Condition and Cleanse with WEN

I know it sounds ridiculous to say, but I love my hair and I equally love hair care products. Anything that will add a little extra volume, extra shine and extra style is my best friend. I had heard amazing things about WEN products, but had never gotten around to giving them a try. So when WEN reached out about their new Fall Tuscan Pear line, I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

If there is anything I love as much as hair-related things, it’s Fall. Combine Fall and hair and you have one happy beauty blogger! As soon as the  Fall Tuscan Pear Cleansing Conditioner arrived on my doorstep, I hopped into the shower and lathered up.

WEN

In addition to never having tried WEN, I had also never tried a cleansing conditioner. The concept confused me. Is it a shampoo? Is it a conditioner? Is it a magic potion? The thought of not using both shampoo AND conditioner in the shower threw me off. I assumed that cleansing conditioners would leave my hair greasy and heavy. But you know what happens when you make assumptions …

The first thing I noticed was the scent. It is absolutely delicious and perfect for fall. I wish all of my hair care products had the same scent. Then next thing I noticed was the amount of product I was supposed to use. According to the instructions, my long hair would require 24-32 PUMPS. Considering I normally use just a dollop of shampoo and a dollop of conditioner, this amount seemed insane. After some trial and error, I found out I could skate by with fewer than 24 pumps (22ish to be exact).

Much to my surprise, my hair was neither greasy nor heavy after using the cleansing conditioner. My hair was left with loads of moisture and shine. To be completely transparent, it wasn’t quite as voluminous as normal, but it’s something only I, the owner of the hair, would notice.

Since my hair is naturally thicker with a lot of it’s own natural moisture, I’ve decided against using this as my regular shampoo/conditioner. I use it a couple times a week or any time my hair is feeling a little fried. And at $40 a bottle, I like the idea of getting the most out of the product. However, if you have more dry hair, this could be used on a regular basis.

Have you ever tried out WEN products or another cleansing conditioner?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Halloween manicure

Halloween Manicure: a Pop of Pumpkin

Hi there, you lovelies. Just stopping by for a very quick update on my simple-yet-fun Halloween manicure. I went for black nails except for my ring finger, which is a lovely pumpkin orange. Believe it or not, I actually got the idea from my waitress at The Cheesecake Factory this weekend. Inspiration comes at the most unexpected times …

halloween manicure

The colors I used were Pumpkin Queen and Night Fright from Sally Hansen. The perfect colors (and names) for an easy-as-pie Halloween manicure.

Do you have a Halloween manicure planned for this Friday?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

skin authority

My Updated Skin Care Routine with Skin Authority

Historically, I’ve never been a huge skin care buff. I’ve been blessed with relatively low-maintenance skin so I haven’t had to think much about my routine. However, as I age-ish (I’m still only 26 with the face of a 6 year old), I’m finally starting to realize I should think twice before throwing just any product on my face.

As you might know if you’ve been reading for a while, I was recently introduced to (and have since fallen in love with) Skin Authority. I started off with the 3-in-1 cleanser, which turned out to be a gateway drug into three additional products:  Wrinkle Reversing Serum; Resurfacing Accelerator; and Tri-Power Peptide Hydrator.

Before these three new products, I simply washed and moisturized my skin; I didn’t have a routine. Now I have an actual morning AND night skin care routine like a real grownup and I love every second of it. It makes getting ready for the day and for bed that much more decadent. It’s almost like a mini spa treatment twice a day.

I’ve been rocking this routine for just shy of a month now and I’ve seen smother, brighter, more taught skin. I used to have these little mini bumps on the top of my cheek bones, and letter to my updated skin care routine, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

 Morning Routine:

Updated-Skin-Care-Routine Cleanse

skin authority

skin authority

skin authority

Cleanser | Wrinkle Reversing Serum | Moisturizer | Eye Cream 

Night Routine:

skin authority

skin authority

skin authority

skin authority

Exfoliating Brush (with Cleanser) | Resurfacing Accelerator | Moisturizer | Eye Cream 

I am absolutely infatuated with my current skin care routine and I can’t imagine changing it anytime soon. And you want to hear a bit of good news? You can grab two of my favorite products at a ridiculous discount on October 30th, when Celeste (CEO Skin Authority) will be on the HSN Beauty Report in the 8PM (EST) hour.

During the show, you’ll be able to snag the Brighten and Firm Duo (Resurfacing Accelerator and Tri-Power Peptide Moisturizer) for $79 (retails normally at $138.50). If you need to do any holiday shopping a skin care junkie, you might want to consider tuning in and ordering a duo (or two).

  • Resurfacing AcceleratorResurfacing Accelerator is a gentle leave-on peel that transforms the appearance of your skin as you sleep. You wake to skin that feels firmer, looks smoother, and has a natural radiant glow. This is the one product that can be added to any home routine and boost the visible results. Think of it as cardio for skin. It speeds up the release of old skin cells and bringing fresh, moist skin cells to the surface.
  • Tri-Power Peptide HydratorThe Tri-Power Peptide formula is the triple threat in the fight against aging. It firms, evens tone, and hydrates. This lightweight formula harnesses the power of three advanced peptides shown to increase collagen production, brighten skin, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. With the added ingredient BIOMOIST, it helps skin increase moisture retention by holding moisture on the skin longer than the most common ingredients found in typical moisturizers.

What is your current everyday skin care routine? I’d love to hear what products you’re loving.

Photos: beautyXposé ; Disclosure

travel skin care and hair

What I Brought on a Business Trip: Hair and Skin Care

I’ve been traveling much more this year than normal because of all the events I’m managing for my “real” job. While it’s been great to explore some new cities, each trip messes up my weekly routine, and I LOVE routine. It keeps me focused and sane because who needs spontaneity and fun anyways? As my eating and working routine flies out the window during work trips, I hold onto my hair and skin care routine with a death grip.

When I travel for fun, I try to pack a carry-on because I think paying to check a bag is a crime and I’m terrified my bag will get lost in space. But when I travel for work, YOLO. Bag costs $50 to check? Not a problem. Bag over 50 pounds? Not a problem. You lost my bag? Problem, but I’ll just expense the stuff I purchase while I wait for my personals. And the best perk of checking a bag? Not having to deal with repacking liquids into stupid small containers. Full-size or bust for this bad bitch.

So on to the point of this rambling post … my go-to travel skin care and hair products, which just so happen to also be my every-day skin care and hair products.

travel skin care and hair

Makeup Remover Wipes | Face Wash | Resurfacing Accelerator | Tri-Power Peptide Hydrator | Wrinkle-Reversing Serum | Facial Cleansing Brush | Face Oil | Face Lotion | Body Lotion

travel skin care and hair

Dry Shampoo | Hair Serum | Comb | Paddle Brush | Round Brush | Flat Iron | Curling Wand | Hair Dryer

What skin care and hair products do you bring with you on trips?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Fall nail polishes

My Current Favorite Fall Nail Polishes

To say I’m excited for Fall is an understatement. I wore my first sweater on an 80 degree day in September and my riding boots before it dropped below 60. What can I say? I’m a basic white girl and Fall is just my favorite.

And another favorite? Nail polish. If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know I change my nail polish often. Why stare at one color of nail polish all week when you could stare at multiple?! So the first order of business once the weather chilled was to whip out some of my current favorite Fall nail polishes.

Believe it or not, I haven’t purchased any new nail polishes this season. Ok, that was a blatant lie, I realized as I wrote the sentence. But, I only purchased one new polish, so that’s a win as far as I’m concerned. The new shade I nabbed was L’Oreal Extraordinaire Gel-Lacque in Glossed & Found and I’m wearing it on my nails as I type. It is such a beautiful, deep purple shade and I feel like a BAMF while wearing it.

Before I go off on a delusional tangent, let’s take a look at the other shades: SpaRitual in Clarity, Zoya in Rue, Essie in Smokin’ Hot and Stylenomics, Prestige in Sweet and FormulaX in their shade for VIBRouge card holders.

Fall nail polishes

Looking at these photos again makes me want to paint each nail a separate shade so I can stare at them all day long. I wouldn’t look like a crazy person at all … And if you do paint your nails a new Fall color, make sure to keep these tips and tricks in mind.

What shades are you loving for Fall this year?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

tarte away oui go

Sneak Peek: tarte Away Oui Go Palette and Collector’s Set

Fall has just arrived and Halloween is a month away, but makeup retailers are wasting no time preparing for the upcoming holiday season. To their credit, I’ve already gotten multiple requests to share my wish list with family, so companies like tarte are smart to plan ahead.That’s alright, their advance planning is a beauty blogger’s best friend. tarte recently reached out to let me know about their kits in their holiday 2014 collection.

Exclusively at Ulta

Exclusively at Sephora

Available at tarte Retailers

I had the lucky chance to take a sneak peek at the tarte Away Oui Go palette and collector’s set, which is available exclusively at Ulta this season. The set comes with a whole bunch of products  for eyes, face and lip, which makes it very worth every penny of the $48 price tag. Everything in the set is listed out below:

  • 16 full size, French-inspired Amazonian Clay Eye Shadows (0.07 oz. each)
  • 4 full size Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blushes: Irresistible (soft melon), Envisioned (sheer coral), Limitless (peach rose), Intrigue (rose petal) (0.158 oz. each)
  • 3 deluxe Maracuja Lip Glosses: Paris (raspberry), Cannes (light pink), Nice (nude mauve) (0.06 fl. oz. each)
  • Deluxe Lights, Camera, Lashes 4-in-1 Mascara
  • Portable collector’s compact (0.14 oz.)

Now on to what you’re here for … the photos! I can’t wait to play around with these products and share some looks with you in the upcoming weeks.tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

tarte away oui go

What do you think of the palette? Will it be on your holiday wish list?

Photos: beautyXposéDisclosure

must-have beauty products

Must-have Beauty Products

As a blogger, I spend a lot of time testing out new products, jumping from one to the next. And while I love the variety, there are some products that I absolutely must have in my beauty arsenal. These are the items that I reach for day-in and day-out, the items that I stock up on on a regular basis. Without them, my life would be just a little less beautiful.must-have beauty products

Face cleanser | Face oil | Eyeliner | Covergirl Mascara | Benefit Mascara | Dry Shampoo

It wasn’t until prepping this that I noticed all my must-have are eye and skin care products. I’m not really sure the reason for this trend, but I thought it was interesting and I just had to address it.

Check out what other lovely bloggers stock up on: 


What are your must-have beauty products?

Photo: beautyXposé; Disclosure

velvet berry lip products

Velvet Berry Lip Products

#ICYMI – Velvet Berry lips are officially on trend for this Fall. I had seen the . And then when I saw one of my favorite bloggers, A Piece of Toast, sharing some of her favorite Velvet Berry lip products. It was a very real turning point in my life. It pushed me over the edge and next thing I new, I in the MAC store grabbing a Velvet Berry lipliner in Vino and lipstick in Hangup. It was the most edgy and trendy moment in my recent life, strolling around Newbury street in a bold lip, shoving Georgetown Cupcakes into my beautifully lacquered mouth.

velvet berry lip products

velvet berry lip products

Since embracing the trend, I’ve been on an online hunt for all of the Velvet Berry lip products. Lucky for you, I spent most of Saturday rounding up my finds. You’re welcome, my uneventful life is your gain.Velvet Berry Lip Products

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

And if you aren’t totally confident about rocking a Velvet Berry lip, think about this … If I can do it, so can you.

What do you think about this trend?

Photos: beautyXposé;Disclosure

glossybox

Unboxing GLOSSYBOX for Harper’s BAZAAR

Might be hard to believe seeing as I have a beauty blog and all, but I’ve never actually received a GLOSSYBOX before. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I’ve dabble in subscription boxes here, here and here, but never taken the plunge. So when the fine folks at GLOSSYBOX reached out about their special collab with Harper’s BAZAAR, I quickly said YES and waited anxiously for it to arrive on my doorstep. It finally arrived last week, and I anxiously ripped it open (after pausing to take some pictures for this post, obviously). You can read all about it below the gratuitous amounts of photos you’re about to see ..

glossybox

glossybox

GLOSSYBOX for Harper's BAZAAR

glossybox

glossybox

glossybox

glossybox

glossybox

glossybox

If you scoop up this box for yourself, you’ll receive five of the below items:

  • Vichy Liftactiv Night (0.51 fl oz)
  • Benefit, they’re real! mascara (0.1 oz)
  • Bvlgari Eau Parfume eau thé vert Conditioner (2.53 fl oz)
  • Bvlgari Eau Parfume eau thé blanc Conditioner (2.53 fl oz)
  • Essie She’s Pampered (0.5 fl oz)
  • Essie Madison Ave-Hue (0.5 fl oz)
  • OCC Lip Tar Black Dahlia (0.33 fl oz)
  • OCC Lip Tar Authentic (0.33 fl oz)

My box contained the Vichy Liftactiv Night, Benefit, they’re real! mascara, Bvlgari Eau Parfume eau thé blanc Conditioner, Essie Madison Ave-Hue and OCC Lip Tar Authentic and I couldn’t be more pleased with these goodies.

I already know I love the they’re real mascara, so I’m excited to have a travel-size version for my upcoming trips. Mini sizes always make travel more enjoyable. While I’ve never owned a bottle of Madison Ave-Hue, Essie is one of my favorite nail polish brands, so I can’t wait to sport this barbie-pink hue. I’ve been dying to try an OCC Lip Tar, and Authentic is totally out of my lippie comfort zone, so it’s a double whammy. Last but not least, I’ve never tried Vichy nor Bvlgari products, so I don’t know what to expect … which is always fun!

If you don’t have a GLOSSYBOX subscription, you can purchase this box here. To purchase a monthly GLOSSYBOX subscription, click here.

Do you have a GLOSSYBOX subscription or have you given any of these products a try?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Mini MAC Haul

A Mini MAC Haul

Believe it or not, but before the other week I had never so much as tried out MAC products. I had this preconceived notion that their products were too bright and crazy for a neutral-product gal like me. I never claimed to be the smartest beauty blogger out there …

When I was in Seattle recently, I had time to kill before a wedding since my boyfriend was busy doing wedding party activities. Another groomsman’s wife and I became fast friends and decided to get our hair and makeup done so we could relax rather than spend all morning rushing to get ready. We located a local salon that had last-minute openings for blow outs and then headed over to the MAC counter at the flagship Nordstrom.

My makeup artist did a wonderful job with the makeover. He gave me a neutral eye with a bold cat eye, fabulously bronzed skin without being unnatural and a bold hot pink lip. Then a mini MAC haul ensued. I didn’t want my look to go to crap halfway through the night, so I purchased my own lip liner and lipstick for on-the-spot touchups. And since I’d heard such great things about their paint pots, I picked up the one he used because why not? I actually used it for the first time yesterday and it was the perfect base to my everyday neutral eye. I see it becoming a staple product moving forward.

Mini MAC Haul
Hello, beauties!

Girl About Town | Painterly | More to Love

I couldn’t be happier with my purchases (and my makeover) and I can’t wait to show you future looks.

What are your favorite MAC products?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure