Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Votre Bu re.FIND French Organic Complexion Polish Review

Votre Vu has been a favorite skincare brand of mine for a long time, so when I was offered the opportunity to review the re.FIND French Organic  Complexion Polish I jumped at the chance!

Here you can see the instructions for use as well as ingredients. As many of you know I prefer natural products that refrain from using certain ingredients. This product is actually really decent ingredients-wise for those that dislike "chemically" facial products.

Application/Use
This has a super smooth consistency with teeny bits of apricot seed. It smooths into the face and with gentle circles buffs away the top layer of your skin pretty quickly. I did not have an adverse reaction to this (even with my sensitive skin) and it rinsed off easily.

Finished Effect
As soon as I rinsed my face I could instantly see and mostly feel a difference. My skin was incredibly soft and smooth. I used this after my cleansing regime, but prior to using my normal moisturizer. I applied my moisturizer as usual and by the morning my skin was even softer. It was incredibly impressive, yet it wasn't so harsh on my sensitive skin that I had areas with irritation of any kind.


Price

This is priced at $28 retail.

Where to Buy
This can be purchased directly from Votre Vu through their site HERE.


Final Thoughts
I really like this facial exfoliator. It includes ingredients I really like, does a phenomenal job, and doesn't irritate my super sensitive skin with proper use. I would highly recommend giving this a try if you're looking for something to liven up your complexion this spring/summer! I wish I could show you a really compelling before and after pic, but I haven't included face shots because you really couldn't see the difference in any of the pictures because my skin is normally pretty darn good (especially with some changes I made a few months ago to my skincare routine), but take my word for it; I could see and feel an amazing difference in person and so could the Hubs! He's actually going to try it on himself soon, he was so impressed--he's a super manly guy that loves good facial scrubs ;)

Note: This product was provided by PR review. All opinions stated above are my own and are based on my personal experience.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer and Mixed Mirenesse Cosmetics Review


I was recently given the opportunity to review Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer. I am always on the hunt for new primers. As weird as it sounds I don't often like the feel of some of the ones I've tried and I've found some others simply don't do much. The thought of an anti-aging primer absolutely peaked my interest as I've noticed some slight aging to my skin in the last year. Not horrible, but prevention is far better than treating a bigger problem down the line in my opinion! I'm also going to be sharing some information below about some Mirenesse Cosmetics products I used the day I reviewed the Algenist primer. But first, more about the primer...




Click on the image to view ingredients additional info provided on the package regarding anti-aging and performance claims.

I'm a big fan of primers that come in pumps as opposed to tubes. It's not a huge deal I suppose since both are easy enough to keep sanitary and dispense product from, but just something I personally note.
Application
Like most primers, this was incredibly smooth and easy to apply. It has a lotion-like feel to it and (as strange as this may sound) it didn't feel as silicone-y as other primers I've tried until it began setting. I find some primers have an incredible "too smooth" feel to them as I smooth them in whereas this actually felt like a lotion. I'm not sure it makes a difference, but for some reason I found this more pleasant to apply. Unlike just about every other product I apply to my face, primer is the one thing I like to apply with my fingers. I'm not sure why. I'm sure if you chose to use the right brush this would apply easily with that as well.

Performance
For starters, keep in mind I don't really have any wrinkles, so if you're hoping for a primer that will provide a more wrinkle-reducing appearance I can speak on it's performance in this capacity. It did, however, provide a nice smooth surface onto which my foundation blended well. I did notice that on the bottom of my nose where I had some chapped skin from allergies at the time that this did not smooth it out or allow my foundation to hide it any better than usual--I honestly wouldn't expect it to. Over time the foundation oxidized and showed the flakiness of this one spot quite a bit. I'm not sure if the primer played a part in that as well, but it's worth noting if you have any areas of extremely dry, flaking skin. I also noticed that over the course of the day the crease between the sides of my nose and face had an almost "cracked" look. Again, this could be because of the severe dryness of my nose from my allergies and blowing my nose, but also worth noting. The rest of my face looked amazing even by the end of the day!

Sensitive Skin Day-Long Wear

Thankfully, this did not irritate my skin at all during an entire day of wear--which is impressive as so many things do. 

Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer under Mirenesse Magic Touch Foundation in Mocha. I have a fairly decent complexion normally, but in this un-retouched photo you can clearly see that this primer/foundation combination photographs almost flawlessly. Not bad, right? I actually really like this foundation and would recommend anyone looking for a good liquid foundation gives it a try! I'm also wearing shadow from a Mirenesse shadow compact (Pearl Crush Creaseless Shadow compact in Nephrititi) and Inside Out 27Hr Eye Kohl Metal pencil in Osiris. While the shadows were workable, they weren't as "buttery" as I prefer. The pencil on the other hand is hands-down one of the best liners I have ever used in my life when it comes to waterproof staying power. Oh my gosh get this pencil NOW! I'll include info below for those interested.
 Price
Algenist Pore Corrector Anti-Aging Primer retails for $42 for 1oz.

Where to Buy

This can be purchased on Algenist's site HERE and at Sephora.com HERE.

Final Thoughts
While I can't form an opinion on anti-aging effects long-term, I do this this is a great primer, especially if you're looking for something that provides a photo-perfect finish in combination with a good foundation. This breathed really well during the day (and I'm very picky about that) and did not irritate my super sensitive skin. While it didn't seem to "hide" my super chapped/dry skin on my nose (from allergies) I honestly haven't found anything that will do that so I wouldn't say it's a huge negative in regards to this product. I think this is definitely worth trying if you're looking for a new primer and like the ingredients. This does include silicone, which may be a turn-off for some, so definitely check the ingredients prior to purchasing. Overall this gets a thumbs-up from me so far!


Note: To view/purchase the absolutely amazing waterproof liner I mentioned above under my face shot visit Mirenesse's site HERE. I'm not kidding when I say these have amazing staying power. Even compared to UD and MUFE which both budge and bleed on me. To purchase/view the fabulous foundation I was wearing check it out on Mirenesse's site HERE. Mocha was a good fit for me and I'm typically NC 30/35 in MAC depending on the time of year.

Note: All of the products used in this review and face book were provided by PR for review/use. All opinions stated above are my own and have not been influenced by the brands/PR.

Important BeautyPopShop Announcement

We have an announcement, which may take some by surprise. After long and careful consideration, as a result of some recent news regarding our oldest and some major appointments this summer for our oldest and youngest, we think it's best if the rack/display portion of BeautyPopShop goes on "pause" during the Summer. As many of you know, our sons both have some additional needs, which require a lot of time and resources. When we launched at the very end of 2011 we had no idea our demand would increase so much with each passing month. In fact, we haven't taken a weekend off since fall of last year! We are beyond grateful for the support you've shown our products and our family. We absolutely love each customer and company that has purchased from us and are so thankful to have been able to provide you with what we feel are attractive, functional polish/cosmetic storage options. While we're not saying we're done, we simply feel that we need to be able to focus as much of our attention as possible on our boys during this critical period of time this summer and with things the way they currently stand, we wouldn't be able to do that.

So what does that mean for BeautyPopShop? Here's a brief breakdown:
1. Customers will be able to place polish rack and makeup rack orders through our site until the end of the day on May 5th. All orders currently being completed as well as those that come in between now and then will be finished and shipped out as usual. After the 5th, customers will only be able to purchase polish, cosmetics, beauty-related items, etc. through our online store. Our etsy shop will go on vacation mode.
2. We currently plan to continue to stock the same (and possibly some new) fabulous polishes, cosmetics, and beauty-related items in our online store and those will remain available for purchase even after the polish and makeup racks are no longer available. Our facebook page, instagram, twitter, etc. will obviously still remain active as our store will still be actively open.

3. We will accept custom polish rack and makeup rack orders when we can, but listings will no longer remain active in our etsy store or in our online store. Those that wish to purchase will be able to contact us through our email as usual.
4. We do not currently have an exact date for when we intend to reopen that portion of the store. As of right now we want to focus all of our energy on wrapping up current and new orders, then see how things progress this summer with our boys.
Again, we're not closing our entire store, just the polish rack and makeup rack portions--nail polish, cosmetics, etc. will remain available. We think this is the best choice for our family at this point in time and we think it will be best for our customers as well. For those that have ordered from us you know we're almost always accessible via email and we work hard to maintain excellent customer service and product quality at all times. We don't want our kids to suffer because of the racks, and we don't want our polish/makeup racks to suffer because our family has to take priority. We hope that many of you will still consider choosing BeautyPopShop for your makeup/polish needs now and organization/display needs once again in the future. As hard as this choice has been, we are finally ready for this difficult, but thoughtfully chosen next step .
Thank you :)
Patrick & Doria
BeautyPopShop.com

Thursday, April 25, 2013

butter LONDON Summer 2013 Poole and Marb Swatches and Review

butter LONDON recently sent me 2 of the Summer 2013 shades to share with all of you! To be honest, I'm still unsure of how I feel regarding this collection as a summer collection--yes, I get the tanned and bronze idea, though I typically think bright for summer--but nevertheless I'm a huge butter LONDON fan and these shades are great.

butter LONDON Poole Swatch and Review

2 Coats butter LONDON Poole - Poole is a light blue-green creme. It's very self-leveling, but starts drying fairly quickly on the nail, so I recommend not applying too slowly.

butter LONDON Marbs Swatch and Review

2 Coats butter LONDON Marbs - a bronzey metallic. Marbs reminds me of Urban Decay Half Baked shadow in polish form. This was a breeze to apply.

Price

$15 retail

Where to Buy

These can be purchased, alone with the rest of the Summer shades on butter LONDON's site HERE.

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned, while I'm not totally sold on these being summer-specific shades, the shades themselves are very pretty. I personally think Poole is my favorite between the two. Marbs is very pretty and I know lots of people will probably like it, but I'm not a huge fan of bronze polish. That being said, the formula is fabulous on it. Poole is very pretty and certainly a color I think many will want from this collection. I'm always impressed when cremes are so lovely to apply--Poole being one of them--as they can be finicky. Definitely not the case for me! I'm glad to have been given the chance to review them.

What do you think? Will you be purchasing any of the butter LONDON's baked summer shades?

These products were sent for review by PR. All opinions stated above are my own and are based on my personal experience. They have not been influenced by the brand/PR organization that sent them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sale Alert!: Tarte on Hautelook today

For those of you on the east coast like me you probably check tarte a little before 11am (which is when sales change on hautelook) to see what upcoming goodies will launch that day. I just noticed that Tarte will be among them! While I'm not a huge fan of their eyeshadows, I do think their blushes and some of their lip products are pretty decent.

I don't know what the prices will look like or if it'll be a case of on sale items from the site being featured in the hautelook sale, but it's worth a peek if you've been interested in trying them or adding to your collection in my opinion. I would say snatch up the Tarte Amazonian clay blushes (I like Tipsy, Dollface, and Natural Beauty off the top of my head best) and if you can get any lippies (pencils or tubes) you'll like be pleased.

You can access the sale HERE (affiliate link).

If you grab anything let me know how you like it! I'm gonna poke through myself as well. I'll be sure to share if I grab anything.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Zoya Summer Pixie Dusts 2013 Swatches & Review

Zoya was kind enough to send me the Summer Pixie Dust collection and I'm excited to share it with you guys! If you recall, I recently reviewed the Zoya Spring 2013 Pixie Dust collection (see HERE) and loved them. I'm happy to say the Summer Pixie Dusts were just as fabulous!

Left Column (top to bottom): Destiny, Beatrix, Solange
Right Column (top to bottom): Miranda, Stevie, Liberty

Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust

2 Coats Zoya Destiny Pixie Dust - coral-y red base with gold glitter. This has the most dimension to me because of the way the gold glitter reflects from within the base.

 

Zoya Beatrix Pixie Dust

2 Coats Zoya Beatrix Pixie Dust - orange base with gold glitter.

 

Zoya Solange Pixie Dust

2 Coats Zoya Solange Pixie Dust - briliant gold base with gold glitter. This is absolutely stunning in person!

 

Zoya Miranda Pixie Dust

2 Coats Zoya Miranda Pixie Dust - raspberry base with rose glitter.

Zoya Stevie Pixie Dust

2 Coats Zoya Stevie Pixie Dust - lavender base with silver glitter.

Zoya Liberty Pixie Dust

2 Coats Zoya Liberty Pixie Dust - sapphire blue base with blue glitter.

Price

These retail for $9 each

Where to Buy

These are available on Zoya's website HERE.

Final Thoughts

The formulas are just as fabulous as the Spring Pixie Dusts. I love all of the colors--Destiny and Solange are probably my favorite. As a collection, I felt as though all of the colors but Miranda and Stevie made sense. To me, Miranda was less brilliant than the rest and Stevie looked more spring than summer appropriate. While they're great colors, I'm not sure I would personally classify either as "summer-y". That being said, I'm sure there are plenty of people that will love these two colors. As you all know, I tend to prefer brighter colors in general--especially when it comes to summer colors. I highly recommend these if you're looking for pretty, summer-y textured polishes. I'm glad Zoya gave me the opportunity to give them a try--super fun!

Note: I've heard that Liberty stains if worn long enough. I recommend using several coats of a nice thick base coat when wearing it--which is typically what I do with polishes that may stain.

What do you think? Did any of these catch your eye?

These polishes were provided for review by PR. All opinions above are my own based on my personal experience.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Zoya's Celebrating Earth Day! 50% Off Promotion

Hooray for Earth Day! Once again, Zoya is helping you do a little spring cleaning with the return of the Earth Day Zoya Nail Polish Exchange* for 2013. Clean out your nail polish wardrobe and get rid of old nail polish that may not be BIG5FREE (Free of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP and Camphor) and exchange it for a greener alternative - long lasting, award winning, healthy Zoya Nail Polish bottles!

Now's the perfect time to make the switch to an eco-chic beauty routine! From April 19, 2013 - April 26, 2013 (11:59PM EST), exchange your old, unwanted nail color for toxin-free ZOYA Nail Polish for only $4 per bottle plus shipping and handling fees. Rest assured - ZOYA will properly dispose of your old polish. 
Here's all you need to do!

1.  Go to
www.zoya.com and pick out the polishes you would like (excludes all Zoya PixieDust™ Collection shades) and add them to your cart. You must select at least 6 bottles and no more than 24 bottles of polish (Salon accounts minimum 12 maximum 48 bottles.)

2. Apply the code (copy and paste for best results):
ZOYAEARTH2013

3. Your order value will be adjusted to reflect a 50% discount (we use these funds to properly dispose of the old nail polish).

4. SUBMIT your order!
Then Zoya will ship out your NEW polish! HOORAY! This is how your order should look like...


Once you get your order
Here's where the exchanging* happens...
1.     Ship back the equivalent number of bottles you received to the return address below (ie. If you ordered 6 bottles of Zoya – you would send us 6 NON-ZOYA polishes). Please check with your carrier on the proper way to ship nail polish.
2.     Include a copy of your order. 
To clarify the exchange: You do not have to send us the exact amount of bottles that you are ordering. You can send any quantity up to that amount. You can also donate. If you decide you don't want to do either, it's ok "Offer is not contingent on customer returning polish" we will still love you and will send the Zoya polishes... we'll just send you on a guilt trip for a while :)
Ship Your Old Nail Polish To:
Art of Beauty, Inc.
c/o Polish Exchange
5060 Taylor Rd, Unit D
Cleveland, Ohio, 44128, USA
Once we receive your polish, we do the rest! It’s that simple!
IMPORTANT!
The bottles you send in cannot be Zoya, Qtica or Nocti polishes (but they can be any other brand). We are using the honor code here folks! We want to make sure you get your Zoya Nail Polish! We send you the polish first then you send your old polish back to us! If you do choose to send us your old polish we promise to properly dispose of it according to EPA guidelines. This offer is only good for 1 week so hurry – Don’t Wait!
*Offer valid online at www.zoya.com only. Offer expires on 4/26/2012 at 11:59PM EST. Continental US ONLY. Not valid with any other codes, coupons or promotions. Shipping and handling fees apply. Consumer accounts must exchange a minimum of 6 polishes with a 24 bottle maximum. Salon accounts must exchange at least 12 with a maximum of 48 bottles. Polish can be from any brand EXCEPT Zoya, Qtica or Nocti and can be exchanged for in-stock .5oz Zoya Nail Polish. Excludes all Zoya PixieDust™ Collection shades. Offer is not contingent on customer returning polish. Zoya Exchange code is unique and non-transferable. One code per account. Art of Beauty is not responsible for incorrect addresses, credit card entry errors or errors associated with declined credit cards. Please allow standard time for processing and shipping, however if volume is higher than expected please allow up to 6 weeks for shipping and processing. Art of Beauty, Inc. reserves the right to remove any polish that is out of stock from your order. You will not be charged for this polish. Backordered polish is not included in this promotion.



So what do you think? Will you be taking advantage of Zoya's Earth Day Promotion?

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Beautiful Boston...

As many of you are now aware, tragic events struck a normally heart-lifting and amazing even today in the city of Boston. Massachusetts is our home state and we have and do frequently go into Boston. Watching footage of explosions on a street we've walked up and down and gurneys rushing into hospitals we've recently been to... Why anyone would or could every do something like this isn't something I personally will never fully understand. All I know is that I feel like hanging my head an crying, "Boston, my beautiful city, what have they done to you?"

Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected directly or through a friend, family member, co-worker, etc. by today's events. Boston is a tough city--lets support one another through this.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Mysterious MAC Limited Edition Launch Times

For those of you like me who have a long history with MAC, there are likely things you love and loathe about this colorful cosmetic company (alliteration woohoo!). One thing that always drives me nuts is the fact that limited edition collections launch online at random times and sometimes earlier than their actual launch dates. I typically keep tabs on upcoming collections and know exactly what I want to purchase ahead of time. Yes, I could and often do pre-sale items at my local MAC, but since the collections launch online first I prefer to buy them that way rather than waiting for the in-store launch date.

I just had this conversation with their chat service on their site and I think it's a perfect example of what I often experience with MAC customer service:

Welcome to MAC Cosmetics Online. Your personal Makeup Artist will be with you shortly.
Hello. Thank you for your interest in MAC Cosmetics. My name is Marilu. How may I assist you?
Doria: What time will the Baking Beauties collection launch on the site on tThursday?
Marilu: Hi Doria!
Marilu: One moment, please, while I check that for you.
Marilu: We do not have a definite time, but I do recommend you sign up to receive our free online newsletter to be the first to know.
Doria: I receive it but I find the collections launch super early and the newsletter sometime goes out after
Marilu: I recommend checking the site early.
Doria: Not overly helpful but thank you anyway


Anyone else find this answer a little humorous ... and frustrating?

I have been using MAC for over 14 years and while some things have disappointed me (the pigment debacle for example and the loss of its cruelty-free status) I can't deny that they also create some of my favorite products for personal and professional use--which is why I continue to use MAC products. I simply wish the customer service experience was a bit better (I've sadly had some really poor experiences in the past). Why all the mystery?

Oh MAC, perhaps one day you'll make it easier for me to snatch up your lovely limited edition products.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation Swatch and Review

Revlon Nearly Naked foundation in 200 Warm Beige
Revlon Nearly naked foundation in 200 Warm Beige
I recently received a Klout Perk from Revlon that included a full-size bottle of Revlon Nearly Naked foundation. It seems like everything is "naked" these days in the cosmetic world! While I'm not a huge drugstore makeup fan, I do like some of Revlon's products and I love that they're still cruelty free to the best of my knowledge (they make my holy grail mascara and I love their kissable balm stain pencils), so I thought I'd give this a try for those of you interested in finding a lower-budget drugstore foundation.


Complexion Match: I always find it hard to figure out my foundation shade online, partially because I have a slightly odd complexion and partially because descriptions and online swatches can be confusing. Revlon offers a Nearly Naked Shade Finder online which I found semi-helpful. One of the issues I had was that it assumed all olive or yellow-complected people are warm. That's not always the case. You can actually be a neutral or cool olive or yellow as well. For those of you with cool or neutral olive complexions or yellow-hues to your skin I found this blog post by Musicalhouses to affirm what I knew to be true and it's very detailed! Despite only being half-Japanese, my mom is Italian so I have a mix of the yellow skintone from my dad mixed with the neutral olive complexion from my mom. I am odd! I've found that many of the skin tone finders or foundation finders are often geared towards those with Caucasian skin tones. Just because my actual skin is yellow/olive on the surface does not mean I'm warm. I'm actually fairly neutral, but I do find that foundations with orange-hues to them can look slightly off on my skin sometimes--not all the time. According to Revlon's Nearly Naked Foundation Finder I should have been shade 200 Warm Beige. While I can get away with wearing it, it's not a perfect match. I'm not sure the shade below (Medium Beige) would have been any different as it's more so the color than the depth that didn't quite fit. But I'm fortunate that my coloring allows me to get away with a lot so this foundation didn't look extremely out of place on me.


Revlon Nearly Naked Foundation in 200 Warm Beige over Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer and Skin Illiminator which I reviewed HERE.

Application: I always apply liquid foundation with a foundation brush. I found this foundation to  be a tad on the thick sad, but workable if you're used to applying foundation with a brush. It blended well into my skin, but took a tiny bit of extra effort as it's very pigmented so anything that wasn't blended completely in showed.

Coverage/Wear: This had pretty opaque coverage on me. My skin is fairly even to begin with and I am fortunate not to suffer from acne or anything like that so there isn't too much to cover. I do get some red blotchiness on my lower cheeks at times if I'm warm or not feeling well and this would definitely cover that. I also have a little bit of hyper-pigmentation that has developed in the last couple year around my mouth. It's not awful, but it's there and this covered that as well. Unfortunately, I was only able to wear this for about 2 hours before I had to remove it. I have incredibly sensitive skin and I find that foundations are one of the biggest offenders for me personally. Formulas have to be incredibly light and breathable in order for me to be able to wear them. They also have to be void of things like fragrance and other harsh chemicals. I also don't wear thing with chemical SPF in them and unfortunately this foundation does include Octinoxate (a chemical sun protectant).

Price: This retails for $9.99.

Where to Buy: This may be available at any store that carries Revlon products. I find that my local Walgreens and CVS tend to carry the most Revlon products.

Final Thoughts
Overall I can see this being a great solution for someone looking for a more budget-friendly foundation that provides fairly decent coverage and who doesn't have super sensitive skin. I think one of the biggest difficulties for those of you like me will be finding the right shade.

Will you be getting "naked" with Revlon's Nearly Naked foundation?


Note: This product was provided by Klout for review. All opinions mentioned above are my own based on my personal experience and they have not been influenced by Klout or the brand.



Friday, April 5, 2013

butter LONDON Spring Lippies - More Swatches!

butter LONDON Wine Gums and Jaffa Lippies
I was given the opportunity by PR to swatch 2 more of the new butter LONDON Spring Lippies. I recently reviewed several of their lippies including Dahling, one of the Spring shades. Click HERE to read my review.

I'm no stranger to butter LONDON lippies as I've had the privilege of swatching quite a few since they first launched, but I have to say that some of the newer colors are some of my favorites so far!

butter LONDON Wine Gums Lippy

2 coats butter LONDON Wine Gums Lippy
Color: This is a deep violet-plum in the tube, but on my lips it became a lighter plum with a slight magenta hue.

Application/Opacity: This has that same yummy carmel-y vanilla scent some of the other lippies have (which I prefer compared to some of the other scents). It's a slightly tacky liquid lipstick with great opacity. I find that if you put one coat on as a base, then apply a second you get the best pigmentation. With colors like this I recommend using either a complementary lip liner or lip border liner.

Price: This retails for $18

Where to Buy: You can purchase this on butter LONDON's site HERE.


butter LONDON Jaffa Lippy (shared on Instagram earlier this week)

2 coats butter LONDON Jaffa Lippy

Color: Jaffa is a bright coral in the tube and on my lips.

Application/Opacity: This has that same yummy carmel-y vanilla scent some of the other lippies have (which I prefer compared to some of the other scents). It's a slightly tacky liquid lipstick with great opacity. I find that if you put one coat on as a base, then apply a second you get the best pigmentation. With colors like this I recommend using either a complementary lip liner or lip border liner. I did find that this migrated towards the outer edges of my lips with wear when worn alone.

Price: This retails for $18

Where to Buy: You can purchase this on butter LONDON's site HERE.

What do you think? Will you be wearing either of these Spring-perfect lippy shades?
Note: These products were provided by PR for review. All opinions mentioned above are my own and were not influenced by the brand/PR agency that provided these products for review.

New Boots No 7 Spring Product Swatches and Review - Primer, Skin Illuminator, Mascara, and Lip Glacé

I was recently given the opportunity by PR to review some Boots No 7 products. For those of you that have been following me for a long time you may remember I used to swatch quite a few boots products--I'm happy to be doing it once again! All of the products below are new for Spring/Summer 2013 and launched April 1st in-store and online.

Boots No 7 Lip Glaze

Boots No 7 Lip Glazes in Sherbert Twist and Angel Cake

Boots No 7 Lip Glaze Sherbert Twist

Boots No 7 Lip Glace Angel Cake

Color/Application: As you can see, both of these shades are chock full of microglitter! Both bases are fairly sheer, though they did tint my lips and provide a fairly high shine. I did notice that for some reason Angel Gake's glitter was a tad gritty. Personally I prefer the glitter to be so tiny you can't feel it, but perhaps layerd over a lipstick (or for those that don't mind that feeling) it wouldn't be quite as bad. Neither of these are sticky and I like the packaging.

Price: These are priced at $9.99 retail.

Where to Buy: These should be available in Target (online and in-store) as well as on the Boots Beauty website, but unfortunately I couldn't find them on Target.com. They are available HERE and HERE on Boots' website.


Boots No 7 Fanomenal Lashes Mascara in Black 


Fanomenal Lashes has a very strange wand as you can see. The bristles aren't very long and spiral around the wand.

Boots No 7 Fanomenal Lashes Mascara in Black Applied to Natural  Lashes

Application: I had high expectations for this mascara as Boots made one of my favorite drugstore mascaras--Exceptional Definition--which you can see my review of HERE. Unfortunately, while I think the actual formula of Fanomenal Lashes is quite lengthening, the brush actually caused my lashes to clump (see above). Perhaps next time I'll try it with a different wand and see if I can get different results, but for me this wasn't a win. If you have long lashes naturally and want a little extra length this may work for you as I usually have to apply 2 or 3 coats as my lashes are so short.

Price: This retails for $7.99

Where to Buy: This should be available in Target (online and in-store) as well as on the Boots Beauty website, but unfortunately I couldn't find it on Target.com as the site was down. It is available HERE on Boots' website.


Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer & Skin Illuminator

Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer and Skin Illuminator

Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer

Stay Perfect Primer Application/Performance: This applied smoothly. While I almost always apply my face products with a brush, primer is one of the only things I apply with my fingers. This left my skin with the typical feel you get with primers that contain silicone--extremely smooth. When under my liquid foundation it did provide a more even finish.

Price: This retails for $9.99.

Where to Buy: This should be available in Target (online and in-store) as well as on the Boots Beauty website, but unfortunately I couldn't find it on Target.com as the site was down. It is available HERE on Boots' website.

Boots No 7 Skin Illuminator in Peach

Boots No 7 Skin Illuminator has a twist-cap turns to squeeze product into the middle of the build-tin brush. This package reminds me of Stila Lip Glazes, except the twist part is at the top instead of the bottom

Application/Performance: The brush is a bit stiff, but applying it was fairly easy. I did find that turning it once provided quite a bit of product so you may want to swipe it onto the back of your hand then apply what you need with the brush. I was curious to see how this worked under your foundation (as that is what the instructions suggest. Because it is so incredibly shimmery I would recommend using this over your foundation unless you apply it very sparingly. Under my foundation it did seem to show through a bit in some areas. As this is a highlighter I would recommend sticking to the directions and applying it in the center of your forehead, bridge of your nose, cheek bones, and cupid's bow. I'm a fan of liquid highlighters personally. I actually reviewed Boots No 7 High Lights Illuminating Lotion a while back and found it to be a fabulous alternative to Benefit Cosmetics High Beam (see my original review HERE). 

Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer and Skin Illuminator on cheek bone prior to applying foundation. As you can see, the skin illuminator is very shimmery and it enhanced my pores on top of the primer. Once foundation was applied the overall effect was much smoother.
Price: This retails for $9.99.

Where to Buy: This should be available in Target (online and in-store) as well as on the Boots Beauty website, but unfortunately I couldn't find it on Target.com as the site was down. It is available HERE on Boots' website.

Here is the overall finish once foundation was applied. I'm not wearing highlighter or blush here, just foundation over the Boots No 7 Stay Perfect Primer and Skin Illuminator in Peach.

Final Thoughts Overall I think these are some great drugstore products for the most part for those looking for alternatives that perform well, but aren't as costly as comparable high-end products. I did find that the mascara didn't work for me, but I also find mascara to be a very personal thing and I'm quite particular about mine since I've been wearing it daily for well over 16 years. I think the Skin Illuminator actually worked fairly well, but as I don't wear foundation daily because my skin is so sensitive it would only be something I would use now and again. for those that wear foundation more frequently it definitely may be something you wish to check out! I'm a total lip product junkie so I can definitely see myself layering Sherbert Twist over some of my favorite pink lippies (and I have quite a few of those as you all know!), but Angel Cake is a bit on the gritty side for me. I'm glad I was given the opportunity by PR to check out these products as I often find that I like what Boots No 7 puts out. For more information on any of these products I recommend checking out Boots' website at us.boots.com.

So what do you think? Will you be trying any of these Boots No 7 products?

Note: These products were provide by PR for review. All opinions stated above are my own based on my personal experience and were not influenced by the brand/agency that provided them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bondi New York The Limelight Swatches and Review - Fabulous Polish with a Fabulous Purpose

For those of you that follow me regularly, you know my love of amazing cosmetics that support good causes. Bondi New York just happens to be a newer company that fits that exact profile and they were lovely enough to allow me to choose one polish for review. I chose "The Limelight" because green is my favorite color (which I'm sure you've picked up on if you've followed me for a while) and I find bright colors like this the most challenging to create with decent formulas. A true test to any company's formula in my opinion! Here's a quick blurb from the company's site that describes them in a nutshell:

Launched in 2013, Bondi New York is a collection of twenty fashion forward colors that are five free (formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene and DBP). Based out of New York, our brand is American made with all of the net profits going to our non-profit foundation which supports a wide variety of charitable causes throughout the United States.

Bondi New York "The Limelight" Nail Polish

 

2 coats Bondi New York "The Limelight"
Color: This is a super vibrant, bright lime green. It actually skews a tad more subdued in my picture than it is in person. It's also a tad more yellow-toned in person than I could catch in my pictures! It's so bright it's almost neon.

Application/Opacity: I am notoriously picky when it comes to my cosmetics, but I have to say this is one of, if not the, best bright green I have ever swatched in my long beauty-obsessed existence. Typically I find that colors like this are a combination of streaky, sheer, or just generally difficult to work with. This was amazing. When applying it, it almost felt light enough on the brush to be thin formula-wise, but the formula was actually perfect (not thin at all) and very easy to manipulate. This wasn't super tacky or lumpy--extremely self-leveling. The first coat went on well over a base and the second coat left my mani smooth and fully opaque. The finish is very shiny and it dried at a typical rate. It's impressive, especially for a color like this! I'd also like to point out that I love the packaging. The bottle feels nice and solid and the rubber-ish cap feels good in your hand.

Price:
This is priced at $15 retail. Remember, all net profits to towards Bondi New York's non-profit foundations that support multiple charitable efforts.

Where to Buy:
Bondi New York polishes can be purchased directly on the company's site HERE.

Final Thoughts:
As I'm sure you can already tell, I'm incredibly in love with this color and formula. This is absolutely a polish I will be reaching for repeatedly this spring/summer. It's as close to lime-polish perfection as polish can get and I don't say that lightly! I also love that it's 5-free as I refrain from using anything short of 3-free. Definitely snatch this up now if you like it. Now I'm dying to see how "Chasing the Sun" (bright orange), "Brick Road" (bright yellow) and some of their other bright colors perform!

Update (4/10/13): This polish wore super well with only minimal chipping for 5 days! It did, however, stain my nails after 5 days so keep this in mind if you intend to wear it for a while.

I was amused to find that my beauty blogger buddy Cosmetic Sanctuary had been given the same opportunity and without knowing, we chose the same polish! You can see her swatches of "The Limelight" HERE.

What do you think? Will you be getting this or any other polishes from Bondi New York?

Note: This polish was provided by Bondi New York for review. All opinions above are my own based on my personal experience. For more in-depth information on Bondi New York please refer to their website or contact them directly.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

World Autism Awareness Day! BeautyPopShop is sponsoring a giveaway to help promote spreading awareness

"Light it Up Blue" look for Autism Awareness Day today! Excuse the flushed cheeks, we all got hit with a horrible stomach bug last night so I'm feeling pretty off, but even that can't stop me from showing my support ;)


Note: In order to be eligible to win the prize you must provide your contact email AND do at least 1 of the other "actions".

As avid supporters of the global special needs community (and having several family members within that community), BeautyPopShop wants to do as much as possible to help spread the word today on World Autism Awareness Day! Please join us by spreading the word as well. To help promote information sharing today we're holding a little giveaway in which 1 lucky participant will win a prize. While it is not necessary to join our giveaway to share, we thought it might be a nice gesture for those that join us in supporting this worthwhile cause today!

We will also be donating 10% of today's profits to AutismSpeaks.org and 1 lucky customer that purchases today will randomly be chosen to receive a bottle of Glitter Gal Teal Blue with their order as a thank-you for their support of our efforts!<

This Giveaway is open internationally. Thank you so much for spreading the word about Autism Awareness!


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