Product Reviews

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Holiday Gift Guide for Her: Hair Styling Guru

Holidays, hair, happiness. Three “h” words that obviously go hand-in-hand. During the holidays, you have to do your hair all fancy-like and that brings about happiness to you and everyone who comes in contact with your hair. Obviously.

And if you (or anyone else on your gift list this year) loves hair care, hair styling, etc. as much as I do, I’ve got you covered. Grab them one of the goodies from the hair gift guide below then grab two for yourself!

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Dry Shampoo | Tangle Teezer | Curling Wand | Flat Iron | Waving Wand

What hair goodies will you be gifting this holiday season?

Photo: beautyXposé; Disclosure

younique mascara

Long Lashes without Falsies

I’ve always like the idea of false lashes, but have always hated the idea of the application. And the thought of peeling off lashes at the end of the night creeps me out. So when the lovely Kael reached out to me about testing out the Younique 3D Mascara, I saw the best of both worlds. The length and drama of falsies with the easy application of mascara.

younique mascara

Unlike most traditional mascaras, this Younique mascara involves two products (Transplanting Gel and Natural Fibers) and three steps. You first apply a coat of Transplanting Gel, followed by a coat of Natural Fibers and then top it off with another coat of Transplanting Gel. These two products combined add both length and volume to your lashes, giving you the appearance of falsies without the hassle.

younique mascara

younique mascara

While I loved the look of the product when applied, there was a bit of drop-off with the fibers after application. A few fibers landed on my cheek and were hard to brush off, but a bit of concealer and a fluffy brush helped to clean them up. In the photo below, I have Younique on my right lashes and my normal COVERGIRL mascara on my left lashes.

younique mascara

For $29, this is a bit pricier than most of my other mascaras, but I think it’s worth the price considering you get two products in the package and it adds so much extra drama to your look. Plus, this would be absolutely perfect for all of the upcoming holiday parties (read: photo ops).

What do you do to get amped-up lashes?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

lip care routine

My Lip Care Routine

As the colder months settle in, chapped lips make an appearance. And as the holidays approach with all of their photo ops and nights under the mistletoe, unkissable lips are unacceptable.

To help you prep, I thought I’d share my short-but-sweet lip care routine. I reach for four products regularly – two exfoliators (one for regular use and one for extreme measures) and two balms (one for day and one for night).

lip care routine

The Exfoliators

lip care routine

On a semi day-to-day basis, I reach for Teadora Rainforest at Dawn Nourishing Lip Butter. It’s the perfect, soft-yet-effective exfoliator that doubles as a lip butter as well. Nothing better than a multipurpose product!

For when my lips need a little extra TLC, I reach for tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant. The exfoliating sugars are a bigger than the exfoliators in the Teadora product, so it really helps to slough off any dead skin cells that are clinging on for dear life.

The Balms 

lip care routine

During the day, I reach for the tried-and-true eos lip balm. The packaging is adorable and the range of flavors is sure to please. I’m currently using the Vanilla Mint flavor, but I also love their fruity options.

As an overnight treatment, I rely on Vaseline Lip Therapy. The balm is decadently rich and works wonders on dry lips over night. Your lips will be kissable in no time!

What are your must-have lip care products?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

#GirlsCan

#GirlsCan with COVERGIRL (plus a giveaway)

As I’m sure you beauties know, us women can do anything we set our minds to. There is nothing we can’t do if we put our minds to it and decide to turn “can’t” into “can.”

“COVERGIRL gave me the chance to check out their new Flamed Out mascara, which is part of their #GirlsCan November campaign. According to their PR rep, “This November, COVERGIRL is donating $50,000 to Dress for Success®, an international not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and life.”

#GirlsCan
For a limited time, you can find specially marked packages of Flamed Out and Pro mascara at your local Walmart and face your #GirlsCan moment with beautiful lashes! I’ve been a long-time fan of COVERGIRL mascaras, and Flamed Out didn’t fail to impress. It separates and lifts each individual lash while adding lots of volume and definition. I’m actually wearing it as I write this post!

In honor of this campaign, I created a look with the Flamed Out mascara and other COVERGIRL goodies that inspires me to do anything. For me, a bold red lip is a look that can conquer the world. I hope you enjoy the look as much as I do! And to help you rock your own “can” look, I’m giving away a $25 Walmart gift card so you can snag some goodies of your own. Entrant information below the photos.

#GirlsCan

#GirlsCan
#GirlsCan

Foundation | Concealer | Eyeliner | Mascara | Eye shadow | Blush | Lipstick

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What is your #GirlsCan moment?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

priti nyc

PRITI NYC Autumn in Chile

I love Fall and I love nail polish, so I’m extremely excited to share this gorgeous fall nail polish collection with you! When the kind folks at PRITI NYC reached out to see if I’d be interested in testing out their Autumn in Chile collection, I obviously could not resist. The only tough thing about that decision was trying to be patient while I waited for the polishes to arrive.

The four shades – Hadspen Blue (blue), Dublin Bay (orangey-red), Polish Spirit (purple) and Nodding Lilac (lilacy-grey) – are gorgeous and perfect for Fall while be versatile enough for the other seasons as well. I did need to use three-four coats depending on the color, which is a coat or two more than I normally prefer, but other than that, I have nothing but positive remarks for these polishes. They were long-lasting and vibrant. Plus, good news for those of you who are conscious of their polish’s ingredients: PRITI NYC polishes are 5 Free & Vegan, completely non-toxic, and are free of toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

Without further ado – the colors:

priti nyc priti nyc priti nyc priti nyc priti nyc

And now if you excuse me, I’m going to continue casually holding a mini pumpkin as I run all of my errands.

What is your favorite color from the collection?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

LORAC holiday

Sneak Peek: LORAC Holiday The Royal Collection 2014

You guys, do I have another lovely holiday collection to share a sneak peek of with you. This time, the LORAC Holiday The Royal Collection. While I wasn’t lucky enough to get my grubby little fingers on the Mega PRO palette, I was lucky enough to test out The Royal Lip Lustre Crème Collection (Ulta exclusive), The Royal PRO Eye Collection (Ulta exclusive) and the Champagne Dreams Eye Shadow Palette (Cyber Monday Ulta.com exclusive).

I haven’t given all of these products a test run just yet, but I wanted to share my photos with you ASAP. I have worn a couple of the lip glosses and boy do they gloss. They have great color payoff and lasting power. I’ll update you with some makeup look and swatches in a bit. In the meantime …

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

lorac holiday

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go play with some makeup!

What do you think of the LORAC Holiday The Royal collection?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

lumene cc Cream

Lumene Time Freeze Anti-Age CC Cream

I’ve tried BB cream, tinted moisturizer and foundation, but I’ve never gotten around to testing a CC cream. I’m not that advanced in reciting the alphabet … or at least I wasn’t until Lumene reached out about testing out their Time Freeze Anti-Age CC Cream.

lumene cc cream

I have been LOVING this stuff and wearing it every day for two weeks straight. It’s somehow the most perfect combination of light and dewey while still offering great coverage. It makes my skin look flawless even though it’s definitely not. You could apply this with a brush or your fingers, but my favorite application technique is with the Beauty Blender. It creates an even more flawless look and when the BB is just a bit damp, it helps add a little extra touch of dewiness.

lumene cc cream lumene cc cream

If you can’t tell from my raving rambles, I would HIGHLY recommend this Lumene CC cream to anyone who can find a color match. Since I am a ghost, I went with the shade “Light,” but they also offer medium and dark. Not the widest color range, but it’s worth a look. At only $14, it’s a steal.

Have you tried out a CC cream before?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

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