Wednesday, July 31, 2013

So What Wednesday

So What Wednesday

Another link-up?  Say it ain't so!

Ok, it's totally so. (Is that an actual sentence?) I am loving blog link-ups lately because 1) I don't have to think of a topic to write about and 2) I love reading everyone else's posts!  So fun!  For this one, instead of my random thoughts (which should be up tomorrow), this is a post all about what I'm saying "So What" to today!

So what if...

  • I'm about to completely melt over here.  I'm so jealous of my family in KY and OH with their highs in the 70s.  It is still high 80s here (and it *maybe* hits 70 at night) and I AM DYING.  I need fall!  Come to me sweaters, scarves, and bonfires!
  • My kids have watched WAAAY too much TV today.  It's almost the end of summer (school starts in less than 3 weeks!), hubby's away for his job for a few days, and I am trying to get some cleaning done!  
  • My two boys are happily watching a Tinkerbell movie.  Gender lines be darned.  I'm sick of Transformers, Pirates, Godzilla, and various assorted monsters and gross things.  Tinkerbell it is.
  • The tendency for my nails to chip means I'm giving myself a new manicure every two days.  At least I'm using up my massive nail polish collection!
  • I'm overly proud of myself for FINALLY organizing my huge collection of samples and beauty stuff I've gotten from subs.  Some of the stuff had to go into plastic Ziploc bags, so I know what my next few Ipsy bags will be doing!  That's right... holding more samples.
  • The first Ipsy spoiler came out, and it's an either/or item. Either a freakin brand-new URBAN DECAY lipstick (squeeeeee!!!!) or a flippin' lip balm (no squee.).  I don't know where Ipsy's head is these days.  But I'm really wanting the lipstick.  If I get the lip balm, I won't throw a fit.  (Well, maybe just a little one.  In my head.) I know it's a first-world problem.  But I may be crossing my fingers a lot more til I get my bag.
  • I am waaaay too excited for all my boxes for August.  I know that it's not like the companies are going to put any particular effort into them just because it's my birthday month (although they SHOULD), but it feels like I'll be getting birthday gifts all month!  Whee! 
That's what I'm saying "So What" to today! Hope your day is going great!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Lifeway Kefir Review (Influenster)

How are you beating the summer heat?  A/C? Fans?  Lots and lots of ice cream?  I tend to go for the last option, even though it packs on those pounds!

Thankfully, Influenster (love those guys!) helped me find a better frozen treat this summer... Lifeway Kefir!  What is kefir, you say?  (Don't worry, I had the same question!)  It's a lot like yogurt, but there's a different fermentation process, and kefir has an increased amount of probiotics.  For more information, check out this explanation from Oprah's website... apparently it's a superfood!

Oh, and for what it's worth, here's the definition from the back of one of Lifeway's product boxes:  "What is Kefir?  With an army of good bugs to kick the bad bugs out of your belly, Kefir is a supercharged cousin of yogurt.  Creamy and tart, it makes a delicious drink or frozen snack.  Try some today and see why folks have been enjoying Kefir for thousands of years!"

Kefir comes in many different forms, and I've actually tried their kefir that comes in pouches - it's marketed towards kids, and it's called ProBugs.  We got the Orange Creamy Crawler flavor.  My kids weren't too fond of it - they didn't like the tangy flavor.  However my husband was happy to suck down the rest of the pouches!

I really liked the health benefits, and decided to find a form of kefir that my kids would eat!  And that's where Influenster stepped in, by offering me a coupon for a free Lifeway product of my choice!  Well, sure!  And thanks!

So off I went to the grocery store, and devoted myself towards finding the perfect kefir snack.  I decided to stick with their ProBugs line (marketed towards children) so out went most of the kefir drinks, pouches, and frozen items - although the frozen Tart and Tangy Kefir in Pumpkin is ON MY LIST.  And then it hit me - FROZEN KEFIR!  It's like ice cream!  And sure enough, they had ProBugs Frozen Kefir in Strawnana Split!

*Cue the Trumpets of Victory!*

For Knight, it was love at first lick.  He will eat these things all day!  And guess what?  My picky eater... my won't touch veggies, hates fresh fruit, would happily survive on chicken nuggets and goldfish crackers, Mr. Dragon himself?  He likes it!  He really likes it!  Ok, he'll eat about half of a kefir pop (and then I get the rest!).  Which makes me so happy.  This crazy kid will rarely touch anything healthy, so it's a total win if he'll try something new.

Kefir pop for one, madame?

And of course, being a good mom, I checked out the nutrition panel.  Only half a gram of fat, 70 calories, and 13g of carbs per pop.  It also has 3g protein and 10% of the daily calcium recommendation.  I will be putting the "good tummy bugs" part to the test once the kids go back to school.  I know that school is just a giant petri dish of germs, and Dragon is particularly susceptible to tummy bugs.  If these little tubes of awesome get me through a school year without me having to pick up a pukey kid, they will be officially worth their weight in gold!

Give Dragon ALL THE KEFIR!

Thanks for listening, and putting up with my whacky photo captions.  As always, the products I receive from Influenster are complimentary.  My reviews are completely honest, and I receive no compensation for them from either Influenster or Lifeway Kefir.  If you've had any experience (good OR bad!) with kefir, please share in the comments below!

Stay awesome!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Notoriously Morbid - Review & Swatches

Ah, my new obsession.  Eyeshadow Pigments!  They're pretty much the coolest!  Also, the companies I buy them from tend to be independent, one-woman shows, so I totally feel great giving my money to these creative ladies instead of a large corporation.

My last review was for Glamour Doll Eyes (GDE), and this time I'm reviewing Notoriously Morbid!  Cool name, right?  I stumbled across them when reading another beauty blog and found that blogger's review on Notoriously Morbid.  Please feel free to check out Ashley's blog, she has some great reviews!  I loved her swatches, so I checked out the website and... OMG THEY WERE HAVING A GWP SALE!  Well, you know that's my weakness!  For that day only, Notoriously Morbid was offering a free full size of Stripper Zombie with any $10 purchase.  It was almost 10 PM when I found the site, but you bet I had an order in by midnight!

I loved two of the sample packs, and then ordered a few single shades.  Notoriously Morbid also sent me two free samples in addition to the free full size.  She's generous as well as awesome!  Let's check out some colors!

***All swatches are done with a clean Q-Tip over Urban Decay' Primer Potion on the inside of my forearm***

The first Sample Pack I ordered was Green is in Season.  There were four colors - Mint to Die for, Night Time in Emerald City, Green Goblin, and Welcome to Vinnland.  Green is my favorite color, and four different shades is just perfect for me!

Mint to Die For - described on the site as "a semi-matte mint for an added twisted classic look", this color is the *perfect* summertime pop of color!  It is mostly matte, with only a few sparkles showing up in the picture with a flash.  I'm going to wear this alone, or with a darker green blended in the corner.

Night Time in Emerald City - "A dark grayish green with lots of sparkle for a mysterious nighttime look whether you live in the Emerald City or not."  This is an amazing green that borders on being a neutral.  It's a steel gray that pops with green shimmer in the light.  It will be awesome for a daytime look with a twist!

Green Goblin - "A grayish green that's exploding with blue sparkle, high shimmer" means that this grayish green is NOT a neutral!  The blue/green shows as a rich shimmer over the gray, and shows as a more warm, botanical green.

Welcome to Vinnland - "A semi-matte dark green that borders on going black.  Still packed with light green sparkles."  What a beautiful, intense color!  It will be awesome as the darkest color in a smoky green eye.  Or as a liner.  I'm still deciding!

From L-R:  Mint to Die For, Night Time in Emerald City,
Green Goblin, and Welcome to Vinnland

Indoors, no flash

Indoors, with flash

The next sample pack I ordered is Pretty Pop of Color.  It contained another green (naturally) and two purples.  The colors are Tenorsman's Tears, Morgana, and Poisoned Grapes.  And these colors... are AMAZING!

Tenorsman's Tears - "A unique and complex color play of blue and seafoam green" is a fantastic description.  It's definitely more blue than Mint to Die For, and much more shimmery.  I think it will go perfectly with Fiji Mermaid from GDE!

Morgana - "A beautiful purple that is very deceiving, it goes on blue with a purple duochrome."  Seriously, where has this color been all my life?  It's a rich and beautiful indigo that balances perfectly on the border of blue and purple.  The shimmer aspect is mainly purple, and it's going on my eyes the next time I have a night out with the hubs!

Poisoned Grapes - "A gorgeous shiny purple that borders on metallic!"  I consider this a very light purple, almost lilac.  And how can you go wrong with a metallic lilac?  This will pair well with silver for an amazing daytime look.

From L-R:  Tenorman's Tears, Morgana, Poisoned Grapes

Inside, no flash

Inside, with flash


 Now for the two colors I selected individually.  Guess who just can't get enough green? (Um... me.  It's me)  However, for the other one, I branched out in a completely opposite direction and went for a peach color.  Ladies and Gentlemen (probably mostly Ladies), meet Andorian and Tempest!

Andorian - "A shiny gray-blue with an icy duochrome".  Well... maybe.  I say it's green.  But that's me.  Maybe I just want it to be green?  Who cares, it's still pretty!

Tempest - "A peach metallic with gold sparkles".  This color pops, and sings!  It has a much warmer duochrome than another recent peach I received (Juicy Mango from GDE), and is a great color to blend into my crease, over my Mary Lou-Manizer!  So many possibilities with this one!

From L-R, Andorian, Tempest

Inside, no flash

Inside, flash

Outside (sorry, my camera refused to focus, and the sun was blinding me)

 And, last but definitely not least, my freebies!  In addition to the free GWP of Stripper Zombie, Notoriously Morbid sent me sample baggies of Trenchcoat and Lunatic Shrilling.  Are you noticing a fun and fantastic theme with these names?  They're amazing!  And I'm sure they're full of pop culture references that I just don't get!  (OK, I get a few of them... Nighttime in Emerald City, from Oz, and Morgana, from King Arthur/Camelot.  Obviously my knowledge ends after classic literature.)

Trenchcoat - "A taupe brown with with silver sparkle" - Yay taupe, my favorite neutral! Most of my taupes have a warm sparkle, so it's great to have a cooler-toned one!  I kind of over-loaded on neutrals in my GDE order, so I didn't order any from Notoriously Morbid, but I'm really glad I still got to try one!  It's beautiful, and I'm going to use it up fast!

Stripper Zombie - "A grayish green, packed with gold sparkles" hmmm, gold sparkles are not what I think of for zombies.  STRIPPER zombies on the other hand... perfect!  To me it's a bright apple green, so I'll be able to wear this other times of the year than Halloween.  And I have a huge amount to get through, so I better get crackin'!

Lunatic Shrilling - "A dark purple gray with copper sparkles."  This is much more of a "true" purple than Morgana, but contrary to the description, I see more silver sparkle than copper.  I like it, but I think I have a similar color in a pressed eyeshadow.  Hmm, will have to see which one has more color payoff!  I'm betting the loose pigment!

From L-R:  Trenchcoat, Stripper Zombie, Lunatic Shrilling

Indoors, no flash

Indoors, with flash


 OK, here's my final thoughts - I love these, and will totally be ordering more.  Shipping was fast (always a big plus in my book!) and I loved that I could pay with PayPal.  My one and only issue with these shadows is that they did stain my skin.  I was wearing Urban Decay's Primer Potion underneath all of the swatches, and I still had to scrub pretty hard to get all of the color off my skin for the next swatches!  The light colors and warm colors (like Tempest and Poisoned Grapes) came off easily, but the dark, cool colors (like Welcome to Vinnland and Morgana) were much harder to get off.

I loved my experience with Notoriously Morbid.  I even got a cute note in the envelope thanking me for my order.  I love little personal touches like that!  Oh, and by the way, I was not asked to do this review, nor was I compensated.  She actually has no idea I'm writing it!

So, what do you think?  Are you thinking of placing an order?  Which one is your favorite color?

Have a fantabulous day!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Whee, it's Thursday!  Time for my thoughts!  Linking up as always through the fantastic Jen from Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.  My thoughts should be much more coherent today, as it has FINALLY cooled down a bit around here!  And by a bit, I mean over 10 degrees.  Highs have been in the mid-to-low 90s lately, and a huge rainstorm last night cooled it off to about 76 for today.  And you can bet that EVERY window in the house is open, and every fan is on!  I'm a notorious cheapskate about our A/C, so getting the chance to cool the house down for *free* is making me quite ecstatic!  And it's making my thoughts so much clearer! So, what AM I thinking about today?  Well...

- It's hilarious how much Dragon looks like a little-boy version of Jim Morrison.  Of course it doesn't help that we let his brown, slightly curly hair grow long and shaggy.  I just sent my hubby a pic text of Dragon, shirtless, wearing a 70s-ish beaded necklace, with a somber expression on his face.  I captioned it "Jim Morrison says 'Hi!'"

- Thankfully, he doesn't act like Jim Morrison (...yet?).  He's currently running around the living room, pretending to be a chicken.  Flapping his arms, pecking at the floor, the walls, and (occasionally) his older brother.  So adorable!  Knight just tolerates it, rolls his eyes, and moves on.  He's almost 6, so he's starting to realize what "being cool" means, and that rolling around pecking at the floor is *not* cool!

- My hubby's foot is healed!  He had one of his last podiatry appointments yesterday, and they couldn't even find where it was originally broken on the X-ray!  He's been given the all-clear to go back to training as hard as he wants, which is awesome because his job is very physically demanding.  Also, because working out is his stress relief, he's been a total BEAR for the past few months while it heals.  Love you, babe!

- I'M A WINNAH!!! Just found out I'm one of the Brand Challenge Winners for Influenster's Palmolive Program.  So not only did I get to try 2 full size bottles of dish soap FOR FREE (ok, 1.5 bottles.  They had some shipping issues... feel free to check out my original post on it!) but now I'm getting more soap, Broadway Press-On Nails (tried these in the Spring Fever Voxbox and really liked them!) AND SinfulColors Nail Polish!  So stoked.  And I needed some good news, because...

- Our second car is in the shop.  It has pretty much not been functional for about a year now (it ran, just NOT WELL).  And when my hubby was away for his job for several months, I kind of just put off dealing with it.  Well, now that school is starting again soon, we absolutely need two working vehicles!  So... pray, send good karma, happy vibes, whatever, that the repair bill won't be *too* much (of course, it will be.  But I can hope).

So, that's what's on my mind today.  Next time I'll try to have some more upbeat and frivolous thoughts! Oh, and I will have a swatch post of fun eyeshadow pigments from Notoriously Morbid coming soon!

Have a fabulous day!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Beauty Box Beatdown! July 2013

Heeey, guys.  Well, it's not that I forgot to do a June BBB.  I just... had a bit too much to do (School Ending!  Brother-in-Law's Wedding!  Coming home, and then turning around shortly and going back to see family for a long visit!).  I'm really sorry, and I've thought about doing it anyway, I just don't think it would be relevant at this point.  So I decided to just go ahead and do July's.  If it would just make your day for me to do a June BBB, let me know in the comments!

But for now, moving on!  July was a pretty great month for both Ipsy and Birchbox, and I'm happy to say I got some great variations in both bags.  However, this month being a bit insane as well (We didn't get back home til mid-July, and I had 3 weeks of mail waiting for me!), I somehow completely forgot to take pictures of the items in my boxes!  How sad is that?  Of course, you can check out my Ipsy unboxing video and my Birchbox unboxing video.  I swear, August will be better - it's my birthday month, and I will consider every sub a birthday gift for me!  I will take many pics!  For this post, it just means I'll be using stock photos, with appropriate credit, of course!

Thankfully, Birchbox actually posts photos of individual boxes, so here's my July Box:

July Box
I didn't get the "standard" Ipsy bag though, so here's a screenshot of my "Glam Room"

July Glam Room
The themes this month were quite different.  Birchbox did a collaboration with the show Suits, and had the theme "Power Play".  Ipsy went for a much more laid-back theme with "Beach Beauty".  Ready to get comparing?  Of course you are!  Let's go!

1) Gorgeous Tresses!

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I do love getting hair stuff.  I've found several great products from my subs, and this month is no different!  Birchbox continued their theme of sending a great all-in-one item with the No. 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect.  I previously received the Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle, and this seems to be a similar product.  However, the No. 4 is a more expensive product, so it will have to be pretty amazing for me to buy a full size!  Ipsy sent another Big Sexy Hair item, the Weather Proof anti-humidity spray.  I've tried this a few times, and unfortunately, it does not completely quell my frizzies.  I'm going to try it on a day I actually style my hair, but it hasn't impressed me with my air-dried hair, and that's the majority of my summer styles.  So for this round... Birchbox!

2) Hahaha... Really?

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Occasionally, I will get an item in my boxes that just makes me go "Really?"  Sometimes, it's an item that I don't feel is a good match for me.  Other times, the sample size and/or packaging just makes me giggle.  For Birchbox, it was the "ketchup packets" of lotion.  I'm sure it's a great lotion.  It's by 100% Pure, and I received 3 little packets of the Honey Almond scent.  So, technically, I'm sure I got a great sample size, enough to cover my body.  But the little sample sizes just make me giggle.  Honestly, think of a ketchup packet.  And that's exactly what mine looked like.  I think you can see the actual packaging in my Birchbox Box Photo up top.  Also, sadly, I didn't like the Honey Almond scent.  The other ...Really? item was in my Ipsy bag.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the Derma E Microdermabrasion Scrub is a great product.  It's all-natural, and who doesn't need a scrub?  This was just a case of IpsyMatch gone wrong.  This was an either-or item, and I really would have preferred to receive either the Demeter perfume or the Nailtini polish.  But there is a happy ending!  Apparently, everyone BUT me wanted the scrub (who knew?) so I was able to negotiate a trade pretty quickly for the Demeter Perfume in Salt Air.  And it's AMAZING.  So because there was a happy ending... Ipsy wins!

Winning!  (Image Source)

3)  Sexy Summer Skin

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Summer dries out your skin.  There's the sun, the heat, and the extra time outdoors, all conspiring to do damage to your pretty face!  Thankfully, I received two moisturizers this month!  From Birchbox, the Benta Berry G-1 Moisturizing Face Cream.  First of all, it smells AWESOME.  But I'm not sure if I like it.  When I put it on my face, it never seems to "sink in", it just sits on top of my skin.  This is one of those items that I'll use, but not repurchase.  The Coola Unscented SPF 20 Moisturizer from Ipsy, however, immediately went into my rotation!  I got the Cucumber Coola SPF 30 a few months ago in my Birchbox, and while I was slow to warm up to it, it soon became my fave moisturizer when I knew I'd be spending time outside.  I ran out a day or two after I received the Coola from Ipsy, and I've been using it ever since!  Winner?  Ipsy!

4) Pop of Color

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There's nothing I love more than a fun pop of color in the summer!  I got a great one from each sub.  From Ipsy, I got a Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush.  It's actually not quite a true coral, more of a bright, light pink.  Which is cool, because I've gotten a few other corals this summer and this is something fun and different!  These are only available to purchase in a set of 6, but all of the colors seem pretty and very wearable.  I love the twist-up style of the pencil, the color is awesome, and the only downside is it tends to highlight dry skin on the lips (so exfoliate first!).  Birchbox sent another one of their exclusives with these awesome Birchbox Bobby Pins!   We all received a set of two in either grey, green, or blue.  Thankfully the stars aligned to bring me my favorite color, green!  These things are seriously heavy-duty!  I used them to pin back my hair on Sunday and they held for over 13 hours without budging!  I love both of these items, in fact so much that I'm declaring this round a TIE!

5)  Shimmer Me Timbers!

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Of course, what could go better with a bright pop of color than some summery shimmer?  I was thrilled to get a fun, shimmery product from both subs!  Birchbox sent me a sample size of Benefit's Girl Meets Pearl, a light, champagne-pink luminizer.  IT'S ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!  Also, I love Benefit's stuff, so I'm always happy to see one of my favorite brands!  Ipsy sent a sample palette of BH Cosmetics' California Collection, three palettes based on the California cities of Hollywood, San Francisco, and Malibu!  I... uh... may have seen a sale for all 3 palettes for $18 and bought them even before I got my Ipsy bag.  Maybe.  I like the shadows, but they are pretty sheer unless you use a good primer.  The Girl Meets Pearl, on the other hand, is also sheer... sheer perfection!  Which means a Birchbox win!

What's that, you say?  It's a tie?  Well, almost.  Remember, Ipsy sends a makeup bag with the items every month.  And this month we got a sheer pink barrel-shaped bag made from waterproof  plastic.  It's adorable, it's awesome, and it's a perfect beach bag!  It will handily hold sunscreen and a few waterproof cosmetics to make your beach trip picture-perfect!  Not all of the bags are this great, but July's was good enough to tip the Beauty Box Beatdown in Ipsy's favor!

July Bag

However, Ipsy only won by a hair (a bag?).  Stay tuned for August, where the Birthday Girl (that's me!) decides whether Ipsy or Birchbox has given her a present fit for a Queen!  Not like I have high expectations for $10 a month or anything, right?

Also, just so you know, I do use affiliate links.  If you use my Birchbox link to sign up, I get 50 points, the equivalent of a $5 credit in their store.  If two of you use my Ipsy link to sign up in a month, then I get an additional item in my bag.  However, there is no pressure to use my links!  You can also go straight to their main websites and sign up from there!

I hope you've enjoyed this most recent installment of Beauty Box Beatdown!  May there be many more!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Conscious Box July 2013 Unboxing

Hello lovelies!

I'm back with the Conscious Box Unboxing for July!  (Yes, I filmed it the same day as the Birchbox video, aren't you the clever one!?)  I hope you enjoy this peek at an eco-friendly sub, and as a new and special treat, use the code MAGICALMOM to get 25% off of both subscriptions AND products in their marketplace!  The code never expires, so have way too much fun going crazy whenever you want a discount!

Have a Happy Day!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Birchbox July 2013 Unboxing

Birchbox Unboxing!  Superfun!  Please excuse my hair, the summer humidity is KILLIN' me!


Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Whoo!  First Thursday Thoughts since getting home from visiting family/vaca for 3 weeks!  I missed you all!  And I know you missed me too... hahaha!!!

Sooo.... What's on my mind today?

-  My mom is traveling right now, so I'm worried.  She's amazing, and I know she'll get through it just fine, but you know... I just always worry.  She's my Mommy.  Safe Travels, Mom!

- I *LOVE* getting boxes again!  It was actually kind of hard not getting mail for 3 weeks!  I did have a few deliveries, in fact one of them was thanks to Jennifer at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom!  (Yup... the awesome host of this linkup!)  I always try to enter her giveaways because she has amazing ones, and I managed to WIN a June PopSugar box!  I know I already posted about winning in my last Thursday Thoughts post, but it's so much better now that I have the box in my happy little hands!  The scarf... oh, the scarf!  I am loving every item in the box, so thank you SO MUCH to Jen for the giveaway!

- I just found out that the boys are going back to school on August 19th.  Am I the only one that thinks this is incredibly early?  Knight will actually get to have his birthday at school! I never thought that would happen! Oh well... hopefully no one will hate me for sending in cupcakes the first week of school.  The upside is they'll have a full two weeks at Christmas, and they'll be out by June 4th.  Should be an interesting school year!

- I actually have most of the back-to-school-supplies shopping done!  We were at Wal-mart the other night (not my favorite, but hey) and saw their $0.50 packs of crayons, and remembered they were on the list for Knight!  I pulled up the boys' back-to-school lists on my phone, and started throwing pencils, crayons, glue sticks, and notebooks in the cart.  Now my question for you all is... how many glue sticks would you reasonably expect a 1st-grader to go through?  I thought I was doing well with buying 8 until I saw a friend on FB whose kindergartner's list is asking her to buy 20!  Knight's list didn't specify a quantity.  I'm thinking if I end up back at Walmart soon, I'll just buy a bunch more... they did ask us to donate extra quantities if we can.  I just don't know what qualifies as "extra" in this case!

- BOTH of my kids now throw fits when they lose at Candyland!  Dragon has never cared one bit (he just likes moving his piece around randomly and giggling when he gets caught), but I'm trying to get him more involved, because with his speech delay he's fallen behind on learning things like colors and counting.  Unfortunately, it seems to have worked too well, and he threw a royal fit today when Knight won (No amount of card-reshuffling would have worked to help Dragon.  Knight drew the Cinnamon Bun card on his third turn!).

I hope you're having a spectacular day!  Hugs!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ipsy Unboxing July 2013

Whooo!!! Ip-sayyyy!!! Check out my video, first one since my vaca!

Items I received:
Pop Beauty Pouty Pop Crayon in Coral Crush
Coola Unscented Mineral Sunscreen SPF 20
BH Cosmetics California Collection Sample Palette
Big Sexy Hair Weather Proof Humidity Resistant Spray
Derma-E Microdermabrasion Scrub

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Glamour Doll Eyes - Swatches and Review

I'm baaaack!  That's right, my retail obsession has continued into my vacation and I received my Glamour Doll Eye (GDE) eyeshadow pigments!  I'm excited to share this company with you, because, as you know, I'm a huge supporter of independent and small businesses.

These shadows are actually fairly inexpensive, at $6.00 for a little jar.  You can get the jar without a sifter, and receive 2-2.5 grams of product, or you can have a sifter jar with 1.5-2 grams of product.  Grams, you say?  But that's tiny!  Absolutely... because for eyeshadow, you need only a teeny-tiny amount!  Wearing a color every day from a jar with 2-2.5 grams will give you SEVERAL months of use.  Also, if you're not sure if you want to invest in a full-size product, you can also buy a little sample baggie with .5 grams of product for $1.25, or a sample jar with 1 gram of product for $2.50.

The eyeshadow pigments are made from earth minerals, so no pesky chemicals!  All ingredients and pigments are FDA approved for use on the eyes, and some of the pigments can be used on the lips as well.  There is a blogger affiliate program, but for this review, I just decided to order some sample baggies and see how it went.  I'm happy to say that I'm now in love and plan to order many, many more.  So, without further ado (I know you're just here for the pretty pictures!), here are the swatches and my review!

First of all, here are the colors I picked:

Top Row L-R:  Fiji Mermaid, Celestial Crow, Sparkler, Graves in May
Middle Row, L-R:  Katie's Storm, Vulnerable, Obscure, Mushroom
Bottom Row, L-R:  Free Sample bag, Dirty Jeans, Juicy Mango
Wait... did you just read the words "Free Sample"?  You did indeed!  In addition to the 8 shades that I selected (top two rows) and paid $1.25 each for (total $10), GDE selected two additional shades and sent them to me as free samples!  Of course, it's hard to see the colors in the bag.  Let's see some swatches!

From left to right, the colors are:  Fiji Mermaid, Celestial Crow, Sparkler, and Graves in May

inside, no flash
inside, with flash
First of all, can we just talk about how cool the color names are?  How much fun is it to tell someone your eyeshadow is "Fiji Mermaid" instead of "green"?  Fiji Mermaid is actually much more than green.  It's a deep peacock teal, with green and blue shimmers.  According to the GDE website, it resembles a mermaid's scales.  And it is by far my favorite so far!

Celestial Crow is a deep, shimmery navy.  It was originally released as a special shade in their OTM (of the month, more on that later!) Club, from June 2012, but was voted by customers to join the regular lineup.  It's described on the site as a "blackened blue with intense green shimmer".  It really comes alive in the swatches, and will be a perfect dark shimmery accent color for an evening look!

Next up is Sparkler, and boy does it! Sparkle, I mean!  It's a "rosy pink with silver sparkles", and it shines way beyond what I expected.  It is an amazing summer shade, just a quick swipe of this on the lids and a some waterproof mascara, and you will be beach-ready and rocking!  I can already tell that this will be part of my regular shadow lineup, and I will soon need a BIGGER JAR!

Last in this lineup is Graves in May.  I have to admit, I ordered it at least partially for the name!  It's a sparkly lavender-pink, with gray undertones, and actually looked a lot more neutral on the website than on me!  But I'm totally digging it (oops... unfortunate reference, I know), and it will be a great base color for a fun professional look.

Ok, so those were the fun colors I picked.  Next up are the neutrals.  From L-R:  Katie's Storm, Vulnerable, Obscure, and Mushroom.

inside, no flash
inside, with flash
I bet you've never seen neutrals like this!  These would add an extra kick to any professional look.  They're smooth and pretty, and I WANT THEM ALL NOW.  *Ahem*  As I was saying...

Katie's Storm is a fantastic greige (gray-beige) with silver sparkles, and will be a great base color.  I will be trying a look soon with Katie's Storm on the lid, and Celestial Crow in the corner and blended into the crease!  Hmmm, let's see... with a navy blue button down shirt, khaki shorts... silvery jewelry. Fabulous, yes?  Stepford Wives, here I come!

Vulnerable is a fantastic highlight color.  It's supposed to be a "light beige with rose and green shimmers", but I see it as a light, warm gold.  It reminds me of my Mary Lou-Manizer from The Balm, just in a loose pigment form instead of a solid eyeshadow/highlighter.  `I love it, but I'm not sure if it can replace Mary-Lou.  Maybe I'll pit them against each other in a competition!  (Yes, that's right, I force my makeup into duels for a place in my makeup bag.  It's all part of my charm.)

Obscure... oh, Obscure.  My new favorite matte shade!  I have been trying to go for more matte shadows recently (and failing miserably, as you can see).  Shimmery shadow will eventually become age-inappropriate for me, and I'd just like to be prepared.  Of course, once I reach the age when NOTHING is inappropriate, I'll be rocking teal shimmers like nobody's business!  Still.  Mattes are more professional, and I'm happy to find such a beautiful matte neutral as Obscure.  In fact, I plan on introducing Obscure to Matt Batali from the Balm (a dark matte brown with purple undertones).  They won't have to compete, in fact, I look forward to them having a long and successful relationship as two essential parts of a professional smokey eye!

And last (never least, Mushroom!), is the deep and mysterious Mushroom.  It's a dark taupe that complements Katie's Storm.  They have the same silver duochrome, and will pair together to be the evil, skanky step-sister of the professional smokey Obscure/Matt Batali pair!  Not quite professional - but definitely dangerous!

Now, before I get to these last two colors, I need to make a confession - I would NEVER have chosen these for myself!  However, the second I swatched both of them, I'm in love, I'm using them every time I feel like being daring, and I can't wait to see more samples!  I may place orders just to have GDE push my boundaries with fun, fabulous colors that I just... can't... quite... buy on my own!

From L-R:  Dirty Jeans and Juicy Mango

inside, no flash
inside, flash (I'm SO SORRY it's blurry, but the colors came through well!)
Oh my gosh, the beautiful, beautiful duochomes on both of these colors!  Dirty Jeans is a pretty medium blue, but the green and golden undertones make this color completely fab!  As you can tell from the outside pic, without light you can just see the blue, but with any spark of light, the green and gold just flash and sparkle!  I don't wear blue often (hazel eyed girl, here!), but when I do, it will be Dirty Jeans!

And Juicy Mango... so well named.  It's a juicy, multifaceted, gorgeous color!  You'd think it's just a light-hued orange, but check out my (blurry, sorry!) photo with the flash!  The pinky-peach shimmer is amazing.  In fact, I can't wait to blend some Juicy Peach with some Sparkler and see how much fun I can have!

And I did promise you information on the OTM (Of The Month) Club!  Every month, a limited-release color (and I mean LIMITED! Only 100 are made!) is sent out.  To be a part of it, you have to be focused and ready at noon PST (3 PM EST) on the 8th of each month to buy one of the open slots!  I have to admit, with school going on for my boys, 3 PM is right after I pick them up, and I have ALWAYS missed it!  Hopefully I can get in this month, please cross your fingers for me!

So, what do you think?  Do you love Glamour Doll Eyes as much as I do?  Will you be ordering some samples?  Which one of these was your fave?  Let me know!

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