Friday, March 30, 2012

Favorite Music Friday: Taylor Swift

Oh Taylor Swift. I never thought I'd ever consider Taylor Swift as a favorite music pick... But her song Safe & Sound from the movie The Hunger Games changed that. I went to see The Hunger Games last friday at midnight with a group of friends. I only got 3 hours of sleep that night, but it was well worth it. The movie followed the book well, although they did cut out a lot of little important details. I found the movie entertaining, but only because I was invested in the series and knew the plot. It had very little built up tension that most action movies have. Every problem that was encountered was resolved in a few minutes. Whereas the book you felt the tension, the pain, the game etc.

Anyways, enough about the movie. When the credits rolled this song came on. My friend told me he was in love with this song and now Taylor Swift. I was like ughh another Taylor Swift song, but as I listened I mentioned it was sort of nice and sounded more like something The Civil Wars would put out. Well, it so happens that they are featured on the track! Now it all makes sense. So really I do not love Taylor Swift, but I love Joy Williams and John Paul White (The Civil Wars).

The song is much softer and heavier than any Taylor Swift song I have heard. It feels much darker and sad. But it is so unbelievably beautiful. Take a look at the official video. It makes me excited to think that as Taylor Swift grows, she may come out with more music like this.

Enjoy Safe & Sound and have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free Samples from Clairvoyant Beauty!

I learned about Clairvoyant Beauty from my March Goodebox. I immediately fell in love with their Depuffing Cucumber & Cranberry Eye Gel (which you can read all about on my post about my March Goodebox).

Then I learned that they were offering 50% off all orders with the promo code: MADNESS12. That is so insanely generous! I thought the 25% off Goodebox was giving me was nice, but 50% holy cow. I got right on that and bought a collection of 6 summer favorites. I cannot wait for my order to arrive!

On their facebook page they are even offering a free sample of their new fragrance and of the depuffing eye gel that I love so much. I already received my free samples yesterday!

The fragrance is made of only the best natural ingredients including pure essential oils and organic corn alcohol. There are no added chemicals or extenders in this perfume.

The website describes the perfume as the following:
Clairvoyant, our wild-crafted natural fragrance, invites you to see beyond the range of ordinary perception, and celebrates the mystery of being a woman. Crisp floral-green top notes of bergamot and lime leads you into an exploration. Bulgarian rose middle notes blend with jasmine and ylang ylang to relax the senses and enhance your own natural harmony and beauty. Warm, lush, inviting base notes of tobacco, fir and green cognac suggest a subtle sexiness;the mystery and possibility of being a Clairvoyant woman.
Now when I put it on initially only smell what I assume is the bergamot, the lime kicks in almost as an after-taste (if that makes sense). Quickly it mellows down and you can smell the rose. I personally do not like either of these notes. To me it smells just like Elizabeth Taylor's White Diamonds. And not to my surprise they share the bergamot, rose, ylang ylang, and the forestry base notes. I see this as a mature woman's fragrance. Something my grandma or her friends would wear. I don't mind it so much after it mellows out, the rose calms down once the base woodsy notes enter in. I don't normally wear rose in my perfume it is just too strong for my taste; if it is a floral it has to be fresh and light. I don't see myself ever wearing this perfume. But if they came out with more fragrances I'd be happy to try them. Even without the harsh chemicals and extenders this scent did last all day. And I only needed a teensy dab. 

Clairvoyant Beauty is still offering the free samples. Head over to their facebook page to read how you too can get the sample. Who knows, maybe you will love it!

Have you tried this fragrance? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Selling (out) to China

I wanted to take the time out of reviewing products and boxes to let you all know that I no longer support Avon, Mary Kay, nor Estee Lauder. This wouldn't really effect me directly if it wasn't for the fact that Estee Lauder owns and operates all of the following brands:

-La Mer
-Bobbi Brown
-Donna Karan
-Lab Series Skin Care for Men
-Tommy Hilfiger
-Jo Malone
-Bumble & Bumble
-Michael Kors
-American Beauty
-Goodskin Labs
-Rassroots Research Labs
-Sean John
-Tom Ford
-Ermenegildo Zegna

The ones I put in bold are the major companies that I have bought from in the past. So why am I removing my support from some of my favorite cosmetic companies?

These three companies are pursuing the Chinese market. Chinese laws and regulations require the submission of cosmetic products to animal testing laboratories before the product is allowed on the market. Therefore, if the company wants to sell to China they must pay these labs to test their products.

Cosmetic animal testing is gruesome and disgusting. Cosmetic testing on animals is done to test for the safety and hypoallergenic properties of the product for use by humans. It may be for a finished product (say a MAC lipstick) or an individual ingredient (dyes, oils, etc). The substances to be tested are applied to the mucous membranes of animals: eyes, nose, mouth. 'Scientists' record the damage to the skin over an average period of 72 hours, although some tests may last days or weeks. The most common reactions are swollen eyelids, inflamed irises, ulcerations, bleeding, massive deterioration, and blindess. Many animals get hurt while trying to free themselves from the hands of the scientist or from the clips that are holding open their eyes.

Also, acute toxicity tests (aka lethal dose tests) are done to determine the amount of the product required to kill the test animals. In these tests the products are directly injected into the bloodstream, gas masks, through tubes that are forced into cut holes or orifices (eyes, vagina, rectum, etc), or other cruel, and unusual methods. The 'testing' continues until at least 50% of the animals have died, so approximately 2-4 weeks is common. During those weeks the animals prior to their unnecessary death they suffer from internal bleeding, convulsion, skin eruptions, breathing problems, and more.
These tests are done mostly on rabbits, rats, guinea pigs, dogs, chimps and other animals.

In the United States the FDA does not require animal testing, so there is no reason for these inhumane tests to still be used. And even though it has been found that most of the tests performed are inaccurate animal testing is done on almost all products on the market. And often times the same products will be tested over and over again even if they have been proven safe and effective on humans.

Plus, there are so many humane testing methods possible! Cruelty-free beauty does exist! Cell and skin tissue cultures and computer models exist and are approved by the FDA.
The worst part of these companies selling out to China is that they been paying for animal testing while their website policies (until recently) still stated that they were 100% cruelty free. They still make it very unclear for the customer what their policy is. Take a look at Estee Lauder's:


The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is committed to the elimination of animal testing. We are equally committed to consumer health and safety, and bringing to market products that comply with applicable regulations in every country in which our products are sold.

We do not conduct animal testing on our products or ingredients, nor ask others to test on our behalf, except when required by law. We evaluate our finished products in clinical tests on volunteer panels.
Estée Lauder fully supports the development and global acceptance of non-animal testing alternatives. To this end, the Company works extensively with the industry at large and the global scientific community to research and fund these alternatives."

Avon is even worse with a large speel about how committed they are and that they permanently ended animal testing in 1989, and then two paragraphs down they state this: Avon will conduct animal testing only when required by law, at the request of government health or medical authorities, and only after having first attempted to persuade the requesting authority to accept non-animal test data. It was reported that Avon complied without any attempt to get around the law. Mary Kay is the only company that is currently working with the Chinese government for an alternative; but it is worth noting that they currently are testing.

These companies are misinforming their customers. Making them assume that they do not test on animals when they do. In the past, these companies have all so strongly fought for alternatives. Yet they have sold out for profit... I would never trust these companies again. 

I'm really sad since I have a lot of beloved MAC, Clinique, and Origin products. But once I run out, I will not be buying them ever again. I do try my best to buy cruelty free. I know sometimes it isn't always possible. I need my contacts and have very sensitive eyes so am limited to what kind I can wear, or I need to take a medicine, etc. Sometimes I am just ill-informed about a company or product, but once those products run out I move on to better, humane products. I used to get really upset with myself if I found out a product I used was not vegan or cruelty-free. I learned to stop beating myself up and to instead spread the message and hope to make other consumers conscious. 

If you'd like more information on cosmetic animal testing take a look at:

And a handy guide of companies that DO and DO NOT test on animals:

What are your thoughts on animal testing? Do you think Estee Lauder, Mary Kay, and Avon have been dishonest with their customers? Let me know in the comments below. Remember to respect everyone's opinions!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Review: blinc mascara

I'm a night owl and a procrastinator. Put the two together and you can imagine that I have many sleepless nights. Ever since undergrad I have dreamed of a truly waterproof, smudge-proof mascara that I could wear  on crazy study days and flop right into bed. I know, no need to lecture me about how you should always take off your face and how quick it would be to remove my makeup; some days I could barely walk back to my dorm without falling asleep. But even if I did take the time to remove it I'd still end up with some sort of mascara raccoon eyes.

Fast forward to my August 2011 Birchbox, well technically rewind. I received a little sample of blinc mascara. Birchbox told me that 'this game-changing mascara encases your lashes in a thin tube of water-resistant formula that won't smudge, smear, or run. Thanks to Birchbox, my life changed that day (and end dramatic corniness).


after (2 coats to top and bottom lashes)

blinc Mascara (black)
blinc (formerly known as Kiss Me) is the original acrylic mascara that surrounds your lashes with water and budge proof mascara tubes. Most mascaras paint the lashes and when made wet will reform into their original liquid, whereas blinc solidifies and cannot be chemically reversed back to a liquid. This means that they are not only water-proof but they cannot run, smudge, clump, or flake. Even if you cry or rub your eyes. The only way to get them off is with BOTH water and gentle rubbing, not either or. 

Can you believe a mascara does all of that? I couldn't. But I am now a believer! Every single thing they claim actually is true.  I can wear this stuff for hours and hours and it does not budge or smudge. The only time I have ever had my makeup smudge was when I go to the chiropractor and my eyes tear just slightly while Im laying face down. I can cry all I want and no issues with mascara running. I can rub my allergy ridden eyes without smudge. And even if I accidentally fall asleep with my makeup on, I no longer am plagued by raccoon eyes. Plus, the mascara does not weigh down my eyelashes. Most mascaras feel awful to me because they make my heavy lashes droop enough to alter my vision/blinking.  Not blinc, I have no issues with any drooping. The mascara is also a perfect choice for anyone with sensitive eyes. Most mascaras will flake off into eyes or penetrate into the skin and irritate the eye and skin, but blinc will not flake into my eyes nor smudge on my glasses. 

There is definitely a learning curve for applying blinc. Obviously you use the same application method. The major difference is that blinc is a bit more liquid-y than other mascaras. At first I would accidentally get it all of my eye. But what is great, if you do make a mistake, don't try and rub it off, wait for it to fully dry and you can just dab a damp q-tip at the spot and not ruin all your makeup. Another difference is the time frame. You have to beat the clock before the liquid dries into tubes; once the tubes form it will be set and you cannot build anymore. You have two minutes to apply coats until you are happy with the volume and length. I generally only need two coats for daily wear. I will apply the first layer for both eyes and go back and finish the second.

I really do love the brush. It seems somewhat common, but the shape is almost like a ellipsed figure 8. This shape makes it really easy to apply to the bottom lashes without having to worry about gunking it on or accidentally getting it everywhere. This is the first mascara that I have ever felt comfortable applying to my bottom lashes. I never realized how long my bottom lashes were since most of them are bleach blonde. The only problem I have with the brush is that sometimes it is hard to separate out lashes effectively. But that is what a comb is for.

If you plan on curling your eyelashes, I'd recommend curling BEFORE you apply your mascara. The tubes will form around the shape of your eyelash, if you wait the tube will not want to curl much. But if you curl first, the tube will form around the contoured lash. It is a bonus because it acts like a cast on your lash keeping your curl longer.

Because the tubes are added around your lash, it will always add length and volume. I think the volume and length that I've been able to achieve is great for my daytime looks, but lacks for a night-time dramatic look. I mean in the before and after you can clearly see that my lashes are thicker and longer. But, if I want more drama I can use a dramatic normal mascara and then apply blinc over it. That way my look will be sealed with the smudge-free, waterproof benefits of blinc.

My only real issues with the mascara is that it seems like the product gets thicker and goopier as it ages. When I'm halfway done with the bottle I find that I do have some issues with clumps. I'm normally able to get them cleaned up and out by using a comb or a dry q-tip to pick up excess. And you have to be very careful with keeping the rim of the container clean of the mascara. If you do get the rim dirty, the dried mascara will act like glue and cause the rubber stopper to glue itself to the top of the wand. It happened to me once and it looked like my mascara blew up. But, the next day it unglued itself and I didnt have any trouble again.

Blinc mascara retails for $24 and is available in 6 shades. Take a look at the blinc website at:

The bottom line: Waterproof, Smudge proof,  Comes off only when you decide, Doesn't weigh lashes down, Decent lengthening for a great daytime look, Some issue with clumping if too much mascara on brush, Have to remember to curl before you apply, Have to be careful with mascara getting on rim of bottle. 4.5/5

Have you tried blinc mascara? What do you think of the acrylic tube technology? Has it replaced your old mascara? Let me know in the comments below!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Game of Tag

I was just tagged by Vee of Glamour Doll Eyes for a game of 'getting to know me.' I don't post too much personal stuff on my blog, so this will let you know a little more about me!

The Rules
1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
2. Answer the questions the tagger has set for you plus eleven questions for the people you have tagged to answer.
3. Choose eleven people and link them in your tag.
4. Go to their page and tell them.
5. No tag backs.
6. You legitimately have to tag.

11 Things About Me
1. I am a very sensitive person. I always consider how my actions and words will affect someone else. I'm the type of person who will stop and help a stranger who fell down or if I see someone I sort of know eating alone I'll invite them to eat with me and my friends. It makes me very sad that most of the world is not as conscious.

2. I am the biggest procrastinator ever, ever!! I have no self control and will always wait until the last minute for school assignments. In undergrad most of my tests would be taken on little to no sleep. I know what real all-nighters are! I am currently procrastinating writing a paper that was due two days ago, heh ;)

3. I need more alone time than the average person. I take a long time to wind down and relax. If I had a really stressful, crazy week I generally don't make any plans other than relaxing by myself.

4. I love candy. I am the kid who would go on field trips and not buy a trinkets or tshirts but the overpriced bags of candy. My favorite candy is chewy fruity candies. It kind of sucks that most of them I cannot eat because of gelatin, but there are plenty I can eat. Sour Patch Kids, Twizzlers, Mike N Ikes, Mamba, Skittles (only recently got rid of gelatin, so watch the ingredients before you buy!), Swedish Fish, and the list goes on.

5. I remember very small details of life. I can remember back to when I was 3 and remember little moments and memories that most people have now have no recollection they even occurred. But, sometimes I can't even remember what I had for breakfast.

6. I spend more time watching TV, but I love movies more. I wouldn't mind watching 2-3 movies a day. The best movies are when you are completely numb with one emotion resonating after the film has ended. My favorites include: Amelie, The Professional, Romeo + Juliet, To Catch a Thief, City of God, Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Namesake, and the list goes on.

7. I prefer the night. I find it tranquil when the moon is up and the sky is black. It may be because less people are around and I have more space to think. My second favorite time of day is early morning, I always feel productive if I'm up as the sun rises.

8. I do not like receiving casual hugs. If Im super excited to see someone of course I want a hug! But if I only sort of know you, please do not try to hug me. I will wave awkwardly in hopes that my wave will create a barrier between you and I.

9. I still sleep with stuffed animals. I really just use them as pillows. On my bed right now is an Eeyore pillow pet and a Squishable Lion.

10. In the past 6 months I have lost over 20lbs and gained a ton of muscle. All of my success is because of my personal trainer (and adding exercise back to my life)! He is the one that asked me why I wasn't running if it was my favorite way to exercise. It has been the best investment I've ever made! It is the first time in my life that I have lost weight without being on a diet or doing anything unhealthy. I just eat what my vegan heart desires and run 2-3x a week and train with my trainer once a week. None of it feels forced and I enjoy every minute of exercising.

11. I did a 25 questions survey on facebook back in 2009. One of my answers was: I have always had this fantasy of moving to Paris, France and living above a crowded cafe. I would spend my days drinking tea and reading while watching all the people around me. That dream has not died and I hope I can make it a reality.

My Answers to Vee's Questions
1. What's your favorite eye shadow?
Eyeshadow is my favorite makeup ever! Id say my favorite ever is The Body Shop Shimmer Cube in Warm (it looks like it is no longer online though). I've been wearing the colors for years and years. But now that I am playing more with eye color I think my favorite is the Urban Decay 24-7 Glide-on Shadow Pencil in Clash. I love using it as a liner! It makes my day feel so much more fun!

2. Do you have siblings? What are their names?
I have one older sister named Kirsten. She is graduating from graduate school this year (like me!) and is heading off to get her doctorate! 

3. What is your favorite song?
My favorite song ever is hard to choose. But I would go back and forth between Sia - Breathe Me or Damien Rice - Coconut Skins. But at this very second, my favorite song is Alex Clare - Too Close. If you read the blog regularly, you know I love music. Just tonight I added 100 new songs to my 10,000+ mp3 collection. 

4. What is your favorite animal?
My favorite animal is without a doubt dogs. Specifically boxers, bulldogs, and other short-haired, smooshed faced breeds. I have had 3 boxers and 1 english bulldog and they are the best ever! So affectionate, so loving, and loyal. They don't bark for no reason, they like to stay active, but love to cuddle up and be near you. I can easily say that one of my boxers was one of my best friends growing up. She truly brightened my days and I miss her every day.
Of wild animals, I love giraffes, chimps, and gorillas. 

5. What is one item you just can't get to work for you?
Makeup wise I cannot get eyeliner to look nice on my bottom lash line. I can't figure out how to do it properly. I have thick, longish lashes so it is extremely hard to apply it below my lash line. It ends up looking like a 5 year old applied it. 

6. What is one trend you just couldn't stand?
UGGS!!!! Those darn boots are hideous and disgusting. My dad worn them as indoor booties when I was growing up, I don't see how they are outdoor shoes! They are not flattering, look hideous on your feet, and most girls walk terribly while wearing them. Plus, most people barely realize that they are fur/leather. The sheep aren't just nicely patted on the back, it is their skin and wool. And if you buy off brand UGGs many retailers are in China where they use raccoon dogs. Many undercover operations have found that the raccoon dogs are skinned alive or beaten to death. Not a pretty trend.

7. What is your favorite TV show?
I love my TV. Love it. I currently have over 30hrs of TV to catch up on from the past few weeks. My favorite currently running TV show is for sure Desperate Housewives. I've watched every season and they always find ways to make me surprised. It's a guilty pleasure that makes me happy. I enjoy watching every minute. But probably my favorite TV show of all time is Monk. 

8. If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would it be?
There are currently three places in the world that I am dying to go to. Brazil, Denmark, and France. 
I studied abroad in high school in Brazil for an entire year and have not been able to go back since. I miss the lifestyle, my friends, my family, and the culture. I felt so at home in Brazil. I wouldn't mind moving back. And I am definitely planning on visiting in the next year or so for a few months. 
My mother is from Denmark. She immigrated to the United States after my parents met in Denmark; all of my mother's family is still in Denmark and Sweden. My family used to go every other year to Denmark, but once we got older that stopped. I haven't been since the 6th grade... Everyone else in my family has been back, but not me. I keep saying if I cannot find a 'big girl' job I will move to Denmark to work and live for a year.
And last, but definitely not least, France. I have been infatuated with everything from France since I was very little. I sort of feel like Paris is where I belong. I would love to feel like I had time to stroll around a market, sit down and read a book at a cafe without having to check the time, and just be enveloped my all of the historic and gorgeous buildings. I may live in a gorgeous city now, it is so fast paced. Everyone is stressed to get somewhere or get something done. Even tourists have massive long lists of things to see. I'd love to sit on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial but it seems like I never have time.

9. What is your favorite nail polish?
A Gap Gold nail polish from the 2011 summer collection. I don't know the name, the name tag fell off the bottle. But Chanel manufacturer's Gap's nail polishes and it is a perfect dupe of their own Gold Fiction. I wish I bought two bottles!

10. Have you ever been to a concert? What was your favorite?
I have been to maaaany concerts!! I think my favorite was City & Colour at the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago, IL on 1/22/09. I came down from Milwaukee, WI on a bus by myself to go to the concert. I rushed to the concert venue but ended up being at the back of a long line waiting to get in. Lucky for me, since I decided to go alone, there was 1 seat left in the front row. And to my surprise, although it was way off-center, Dallas Green set up his chair right in front of my seat!! It was one of the most powerful concert I've ever been to. Everything was just perfect. I could hardly hold back tears I was so excited and moved. And to make things better after the show I got to meet Dallas!!! He signed all of my CDs, took pictures with me, answered all my silly fan questions, and remembered seeing me during the show sniffling. I have a few full videos from the concert on my youtube page. Take a look.

11. What day is your birthday!?
7-11!!! Best birthday ever. I get free slurpies! And it makes it hard for people to forget my birthday. To make it even more awesome, I weighed 7lbs 11oz. 

I Tag:
Shannon of Gingery Snaps
Bronwen of Tested on Humans
Kelly of Vampy Varnish
Sarah and Liz of Two Chix Beauty Fix
Crystal of Valentine Kisses
Stephanie of Tuttivuoi
Alaina of The Birrds Nest

My Questions for my Tag-ees:
1. What is the one beauty item you could not live without?
2. What is your favorite book?
3. Do you have any hobbies?
4. How long does your daily beauty regime take?
5. What are your favorite online shops?
6. What is your biggest pet peeve?
7. If you had to choose your last meal, what would it be?
8. What is your favorite candy?
9. What is your dream job?
10. What was the worst job you've had?
11. Do you have any words of wisdom that you live by?

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Beauty Box 5: March 2012

Finally received my second Beauty Box 5. It took longer than most for me to receive my box. They ship UPS MI, but didn't send out tracking numbers which is silly since there is a tracking number right on my package. I was anxious once everyone else I know had already received their box. But here it is! My last box of the month.

Don't know what Beauty Box 5 is? 
Beauty Box 5 is a month beauty subscription service that delivers a cute Tiffany blue box of premium beauty samples to your doorstep. Each month you will receive  4-5 packet samples, deluxe samples, and a full-sized product. Brands are expected to vary from luxury high-end, department store brands, and anything in-between. The samples chosen are based off of a short profile, but it looks like the first few months all products will be the same. Beauty Box 5 costs $12 a month and your box will always be valued above!
Click here to join Beauty Box 5

March 2012
Still no description card for the products and the facebook page was very sparse with any updates. I don't like when companies reveal products, but some conversation on favorite brands or product types would be nice. And I hate not having a product information card, why did you choose this product? Why is it special enough for me to want to try and buy it?

I still really like the presentation. I don't have a need for reusable boxes. Less waste, the better! And the boxes still are adorable.

Information Card:

Freeman Beauty: Facial Anti-Stress Mask
Indulge yourself with the Dead Sea Minerals Facial Anti-Stress Mask. Enhanced with natural minerals, it instantly absorbs excess oil while deep cleaning pores.
Full Size: 6oz ($3.99)
Size Received: 0.5oz ($0.34)
Oh boy, another Freeman product. I haven't tried the hydrate mask that I got last month in my MyGlam yet, but this is a mask that is more geared towards my skin type. Ever since I went on accutane the only acne issues I have are T-zone blackheads. Nothing I've tried seems to work, maybe because Im so stressed out all the time? This mask is formulated with Dead Sea Minerals to absorb oil and purge pores. You are left with smooth and radiant skin. So I'll am really excited to try this product and will be trying it in a few days. Although I heard that it is bright blue, and I look on the back and they put in Blue 1! Why? There is no need for this synthetic dye. Hopefully it doesn't irritate my skin. If it doesn't, it is so cheap that I'd buy the full-size. The sample is enough for 2-3 masks. 

Becca: Eye Tint in Vicuna
Take your artistry to a bold new level with Becca's long-lasting eye tint. It goes on smoothly as a creme and sets as a powder, letting you layer it under powder eye colors and loose pigments for even greater intensity.
Full Size: 0.24oz ($24.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 0.24oz ($24.00)
This eye tint is waterproof, streak-free, and crease-resistant. It is a cream that dries as a 'powder.' Even after it has a really weird texture. I can feel the difference in texture from my non-swatched skin. It made my skin almost rubbery. The color Vicuna leaves the bottle as a golden-champagne, but once you rub it around it looses a lot of its pigmentation and is extremely sheer. The website describes Vicuna as opal, which I don't see. I tried dabbing it on and that worked better to keep some color. The good thing about this is that the shimmer is very fine, so it looks nice. No matter if I liked this product I just read the ingredients and realized that it has Carmine, which is ground up beetles. The box says may contain carmine, but the website says they for sure have it. I'm not taking chances and will be trading this. 

True Natural: Advance Lift & Firm Serum
Give your skin back its naturally youthful glow! True Natural Spa's Advanced Lift & Firm Serum restores suppleness and moisturizes with all-natural ingredients.
Full Size: 0.5oz ($69.00)
Size Received: 0.14oz ($19.32)
At first I was disappointed that I didn't receive the vegan, brown eyeliner as some other gals got, but this vegan serum is fine by me. True Natural's products are free from harmful chemical ingredients and filled with organic ingredients. The serum is an ultra-concentrated anti-aging serum that uses 10% bio-hyaluronic acid, pomengranate, and ferulic acid to reduce fine lines, snap skin back to smooth, and has antioxidant skin protection. It is save for all skin types and is moisturizing as well. I tried this tonight and could really feel it firming, or at least it made my skin taut, and my skin is super soft. It does smell weird though. Like a combination of granola hippy/lavender/dog treats. I can't explain it, but the natural ingredients and lavender smells awful together. I could only smell it while applying, so I'll survive. I'm going to try this out once a day for a week or two and see how it does. Who wouldn't mind more radiant, refreshed?

Pur-lisse: pur-delicate
Give your skin a fresh start every day with pūr~delicate from pūr~lisse. Their special blend of soy milk, soy proteins, white tea and whole oat leaves your skin caressably smooth without removing natural oils.
Full Size: 5.6oz ($36.00)
Size Received: 1.7oz ($10.93)
This cleanser and makeup remover is a blend of soy milk, soy proteins, white tea, and who oat soothes skin while removing dirt and makeup. I only recently heard of milk cleansers. I got to try out the Vichy 3-in-1 milk cleanser and loved that it was water free. I kind of assumed that all milk cleansers would not require water, but the packaging of the pur-delicate says to apply to damp skin and wash off with warm water. Darn. I'm lazy. And at least I admit it. It says that it will even remove mascara, but I did not have any luck getting my eyeliner off. Other than that my skin felt smooth, soft, and felt clean. The website says if you've got stubborn makeup to let it sit for a minute. Plus, you can use this as a mask (10mins) to protect and smooth skin. This is a very generous sample size and I'll definitely use it until it is gone.

Lavera: Mango Milk Hair Repair Treatment
With Mango Milk Hair Repair from Lavera, you'll receive a natural deep conditioning treatment, even with color-treated hair!
Full Size: 4.1oz ($16.00)
Size Received: 0.8oz ($3.12)
Mhmm, mangos. I can just imagine what this smells like! This repair treatment has jojoba, avocado, and soybean oils that protect your hair. Mango and green tea extracts protect hair from damage and oxidants. And cocoa and shea butter lock in moisture. This is technically for color treated hair, but I may still try it out since I love mangos. Either way my hair is guaranteed to be shiny and smooth. Since I have such thin hair this sample would last me a looong time, maybe 8-10 treatments. 

Total Value of my March 2012 Beauty Box 5 Box: $57.71
Even no being able to use the Becca Eye Tint, this is a great valued box. I'm excited about many of the products and already have used some of them! I plan on staying with BB5 for one more month before I make a decision. For now I would say that BB5 is moving forward and up. I wish they would give me a better idea of who they are. I really have no idea who started the company, why, and what their true mission is. I would love to have a more active facebook page, information card on the products, and tracking numbers. If they take care of all the little odds and ends, I think they have a great future.

What did you think of my March Beauty Box 5? What did you get in your box? Have you tried any of these products before? Let me know in the comments below!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Help me decide which color to get! [Express (Minus The) Leather Moto Jacket]

Friends, I need your help!

I found this awesome faux leather jacket on Rinny's Beauty Blog. My store has had some sweet leather jackets this season, but they are all 100% real and we all know I won't go there. I am 100% committed to buying this lovely gal (even if DC is 80 and humid right now). But I cannot decide on what color. I love how Rinny's clay looks, but the black is so hot! I wish I had room in my budget to buy both, but alas I don't.

Help me make a decision!
(btw check out Rinny's linked page to truly see how gorg the clay is)

                  BLACK                     OR                    CLAY 

Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Favorite Music Friday: Nelly Furtado

Forgot about her? I bet you are now wondering what Nelly Furtado is up to. I know I am. Nelly Furtado has been one of my favorite artists. I still remember the first time I heard 'I'm Like a Bird.' I was watching Nickelodeon on my 11 inch TV/VCR combo after school one day (I'm pretty sure As Told By Ginger) and the video came on between programs. I stopped what I was doing and got up and started dancing. Whoa, Nelly! was so fresh and new. There was nobody out at the time with her style or voice. But, as we know Nelly decided to go mainstream and away from that uniqueness with her third album Loose. I felt betrayed because she fell into the pit of pop/hip hop. But from the looks of her wiki page, she has a new CD in the works that will bring us back to her roots!

Her lesser known sophomore album, Folklore, will always be one of my favorite albums ever. Ever. I would listen to this CD on repeat for hours. Nelly embraced her Portuguese heritage and was influenced by her parent's immigration to Canada. The CD has more whimsy and fuses worldbeats with folk and pop. I love the diversity of the tracks. There are some great upbeat songs that just make you want to dance, songs that make you feel like you are floating, and other sweet, slightly sad ballads.

My favorites on the cd are: Força, Childhood Dreams, Explode, and Try. I want to share with you all of them, but after long deliberation I decided to share Childhood Dreams. Childhood dreams is the song that makes me feel like I am floating. It has such whimsy and a lightness. The song is about the existence of that one person that was meant for her. The lyrics are so sweet and you can feel the love that she has experienced.

I cannot wait for her next CD to be released. But until then...

I can't believe you need me
I never thought I would be needed for anything
I can't believe my shoulders would carry such important weight
As your head and your tears
I can't believe you chose me, in all my fragility, me
It hurts so much when i love you, it makes me cry 
Every time

You, you are, oh you are
The little boy made for me in the stars
In the stars, that's why I can't let you go
The little boy made for me in the stars
That's why I love you more the further I go
And before this existence you were always there
Waiting for me
You are, you are the realest thing I know
Hands down
The realest thing I know

I am not used to being carried
Or being able to carry a pretty song
I have been bruised by my many trails
Sometimes my skin's so thick it's frail
I just need to be ignored 'til I wake up to the beauty that is yours
And it all comes to life so, so suddenly
This is a place so deep, the water's so deep I hesitate, cause
All the energy it takes to feel this power
I tend to run, I tend to hide, 'til I find you and I know I got you
I know, I know, I know

You're the little boy made for me in the stars
In the stars, that's why I can't let you go
The little boy made for me in the stars
That's why I love you more the further I go
And before this existence you were always here
Inside of me
You are, you are the realest thing I know
Hands down...the realest thing I know

I'm sliding on the rainbows of my childhood dreams
I'm sliding on the rainbows of my childhood dreams

When you carry me, when you carry me, when you carry me
It's so happy

I'm sliding on the rainbows of my childhood dreams
I'm sliding on the rainbows of my childhood dreams

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Goodebox: March 2012

Vegan and beauty don't always play nicely. Many well known brands use animal byproducts or unethical testing methods to produce their products. I find it pretty easy to spot non-vegan ingredients when shopping for groceries, but beauty is a different story. All those long, chemical names sound alike. One type of glyercin or wax may be vegan another may not. If the company does not clearly state they are cruelty-free and are free of animal products I don't feel right buying. These subscription boxes are great, but every so often I do get a product I can't use. Well not anymore. Goodebox is here to rescue me and all my eco and animal conscious beauty lovers.

What is Goodebox?
Goodebox is a monthly subscription service that delivers trial size healthy, eco-conscious, natural beauty and personal care products. Each month you will receive 6 or more products customized for you. The brands and products that Goodebox send out have been thoroughly evaluated upon the brand's use of non-toxic, natural ingredients that respect earth, animals, and humanity. The samples will range from make-up, skincare, body, fragrances, and some lifestyle and wellness products. Every month is a surprise, but the samples picked are based on a very detailed, thorough survey that even lets you indicate color preferences, any allergies, vegan, sensitivities, etc. Goodebox costs $16 a month, but the value of your box will be way above!
Click here to join Goodebox.

March 2012, First Box!
The first month of Goodebox has arrived! I was a bit hesitant signing up for another beauty box, especially since it is a bit more expensive than the others. But, I could not resist because of Goodebox's mission to only provide products that do not hurt anyone. I was really impressed by the Goodebox survey that I took once I finally slapped down the plastic. It let me choose color options as detailed as 'what lip color do I like' and it had an option that clearly let me pick a vegan preference. Also, instead of being sent a long laundry list of product info and ingredients they email you a week after they ship with all product information, ingredients, instructions, tips, and coupons! Every month you will be eligible for a 20% discount at the brand's store for the full-size (25% if you fill out Goodebox surveys)! What I liked is that the promo codes are valid for a few months, I'll have time to decide if I love the product and want to buy the full-size. Plus, some of the promo codes are site wide coupons!

I'd say their website is still a work in progress, there is no login page to allow you to see your account details or allow you to easily update preferences, but that is on the way in the next few months. They said that if anything changes you can easily resubmit a form. So far I have found the company to have really great customer service by email, although their facebook page is a little slow moving. Hopefully the more people find out about this awesome box, the better it will get!
 The products came taped to the information card. It looked nice opening the container and finding such a nice display. But I found some of the tape would not come off and ripped the print off the info card.

Information Card:

Alima Pure: Luminous Shimmer Blush in Freja
You know that rosy, 'just in from being outside' look? Now you can fake it naturally. Pure, luscious and richly pigmented. Alima's Luminous Shimmer Blush goes on sheer and blends beautifully for a natural glow.
Full Size: 0.16oz ($17)
Size Received: Petite Jar ($1.50)
Freja is sweet mauve color with glints of shimmer in it. It is a really pretty color and goes very well with my skin tone. It is almost the exact same color as my natural blush. I've never used a mineral blush, but I looked up online and it says to use a very soft brush with little product on the brush and sweep across as normal. It is better to build up then have too much product on. In the swatch,] I caked it on so you could see the color, but on my face it is very nice and sheer. And the shimmer, although more coarse than I'd like, does not look bad at all. The weird thing is the color of my Freja looks nothing like the website image; it looks more like Plush or Demeter...

Alima Pure: Bronzer in Belize
Ah, the soft, natural glow that comes from a good vacation. At least, that's the effect of Alima's Bronzer will have on your complexion. Enhance your lovely glow, even in the dead of winter, with a touch of Bronzer.
Full Size: 0.16oz ($17)
Size Received: Petite Jar ($1.50)
Oh mineral bronzer, I seem to attract the stuff like crazy. The info card said I was receiving a face shimmer powder, but it looks like the bronzer is a different product... Although, I do really like this color. It is a light/medium clay brown that has shimmer. I like that the color is less orange and more tan so it matches my skin tone a lot better than some of the other bronzers I have tried. At first I wasn't sure if I liked the shimmer, but once on your cheeks you can't notice it at all. It is a pretty shade and will look great for a natural, summer look. It has become one of my favorite bronzers and Im thinking about buying the full-size!
In general, I'm really excited about the brand. Cruelty-free, all vegan (except lip balms have beeswax), and they even have a jar recycling program (return 5 full-size jars for them to recycle, although they cant reuse them, and get you get a $11 credit!). I already bought the full-size of the bronzer using my 25% discount!

Clairvoyant Beauty: Depuffing Cucumber & Cranberry Eye Gel
Instant rescue relief for puffy eyes is in sight! An effective combination of Cucumber and Cranberry Seed Oil soothes and calms irritated eyes while reducing water retention.
Full Size: 0.5oz ($32.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 0.5oz ($32.00)
This gel uses cucumbers to heal and refresh tired eyes and reduce fluid build-up, while cranberry seed oil is full of antioxidants and fights signs of anti-aging naturally! They are blended into an aloe vera gel for a calming and gentle, tightening effect. The instructions say to just pat a small amount onto clean skin around the eye, but not to rub, pull, or tug. I would have probably rubbed it in. On their website it says it is certified vegan and biodegradable. There were some amazing reviews for the product, people saying that you'd see it working on puffiness in minutes and you could actually feel it tightening. I'm really excited about this product. I put it on tonight and felt it cool and sooth right away. Then just like the review I could feel it tightening! I was a bit worried it was burning, but my skin isn't raw or red instead it's actually less sensitive than normal.

Clairvoyant Beauty: Balancing Rosehip Oil & Hibiscus Facial Serum
Balancing, deep hydration for all skin types, even sensitive. Rich in essential fatty acids, B Vitamins plus C, and DMAE & MSM, this anti-aging formula is naturally astringent and highly antioxidant. 
Full Size: 1oz ($69.00)
Size Received: 0.25oz ($17.25)
This serum focusing on balancing and hydrating skin. Rosehip oil is full of all sorts of fatty acids and vitamins and Hibiscus is a natural astringent and has antioxidant properties. I'm assuming by balance they mean skin tone will look even and hydrated. Im learning that even though my skin is oily it needs to be hydrated so I may try this out. If it doesn't work for me I think my mom would love it.

Stark Skincare: Grapefruit Cleanse + Hydrating Balm
This water-less balm is both cleanser and hydrator! Melt away daily grime and dirt, replenishing your skin with healthy, antioxidant-rich plant-derived oils and butters! Does double duty as a moisturizer, fly away tamer, and after-shave.
Full Size: 2oz ($35.00)
Size Received: ~0.5oz ($8.75)
I looked up Stark and it looks like the products I received are from their debut collection. They have a massive banner that shows they are an all vegan and cruelty-free company! The products are all molded around the fact that our city environments are harsher and more polluted but we keep putting harsh ingredients on and into our bodies. So instead they use plant-derived oils/butters, clay, and extracts to effectively and gently solve our city skin stresses. The Grapefruit balm is an interesting concept that is modeled after the oil cleansing method. All the chemicals in the cleansers we use actually dry out our skin and make it produce more oil, so instead the use of oils w ill remove dirt and makeup without leaving it dry. This has grapefruit extract to cleanse, shea butter to protect skin with natural SPF, coconut oil that has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties, soybean butter that stimulates collagen production, and green tea seed oil that is soothing. You just massage in, let sit for a few, and wipe away with a moistened wash cloth (or can use dry cloth). And afterwards you should tone your skin and moisturize. So you can just reapply the GF as your moisturizer!  The website warns not to use your fingers directly into the pot as your hands have moisture and water and oil don't mix! Really happy about this one! It got rid of all my makeup (well I didnt use it on my eyes) and impurities and left my skin silky soft. I'm not sure I'd use it as a facial moisturizer just because it feels a little too heavy on my skin.

Stark Skincare: Green Tea Detox Clay Mask
Purify, detox, and brighten skin with this clay, green tea and fruit extract mask. Mixed with your liquid of choice, use it as a spot treatment or weekly for soft, supple skin.
Full Size: 2oz ($25.00)
Size Received: ~0.5oz ($6.25)
I  have the sizes received as an approximation because they were not listed, but the Stark representative on their in-site chat let me know the two products were approx around .25-.5oz. This green tea clay powder is another cool idea. You just need to add a few drops of liquid, they mention water, green tea, pure fruit juice to 1/2 teaspoon of the powder. Apply an even layer and wash with warm water once it completely dries. Green tea helps repair damage from the sun and air, plus it has two types of clay that help tone skin and imrpove skin clarity. It also has apple and lime extracts that exfoliate away dead skin, improve elasticity, and leave skin refreshed. I love how it has so many roles and makes my regime a little simpler. I tried the mask yesterday, it dried realllly quickly. Like I had to rush to get it on my face because it was drying. It made my skin very tight while it was drying, but once I washed it off my skin felt smooth and refreshed. I may do this once a week and see if my skin tone improves.

Josie Maran: Bear Naked Wipes
Convenient cleansing with a blend of aloe vera, cucumber, and vitamin E. Free of fragrance, parabens, and petrochemicals, these luxurious biodegradable wipes are kind to tender skin, leaving it feeling nourished and refreshed!
Full Size: Travel Size - 8 Wipes ($6.00)
Size Received: Full-size! 8 wipes ($6.00)
It must be the month of makeup remover wipes. I don't mind these because they are my absolute favorite! While the LA Fresh wipes that I received were natural and vegan, they were like dry oil and not at all refreshing. But, I have used the Bear Naked Wipes for years and years and love them. They are moist, cool the the touch, and do an absolute amazing job removing make-up. I'll be going home for a week and half in May, so I'll be sure to bring all my makeup wipes!

Total Value of my March 2012 Goodebox: $73.25
I am beyond impressed with my first box. Quick delivery, awesome customer service, all vegan and eco products, plus I received such a range of products. I love that I have new makeup to try out since I have so many skincare products from my boxes. But the skincare products I did receive are innovative and really exciting! I am definitely staying on board and really look forward to future months.

What did you think of my Goodebox? How does it compare to yours? Did you receive any different products than me? Let me know in the comments below!
If you don't get Goodebox, click here to join!

Shoedazzle: Toccoa

A rough, long day at work means I have little to no interest in doing the mounting schoolwork that is in front of me. I have been staring at my word document for a good hour now. Time to give up and call it a day. Instead I'll do something I enjoy for a change...Sharing my joys with you, of course!

Last month I picked up Shoedazzle's Toccoa. I was absolutely smitten after seeing the promo email I received that I bought it seconds later while still in bed. Yup, smitten. As much as I love bright and fun purses, I love simple, clean line purses even more. It makes life a little easier not having to worry about your purse not matching.

Toccoa is a beige faux ostrich-leather satchel that has contrasting black straps, trim, and bottom. What initially attracted me to the purse was the contrasting black and soft white and the fact that it would fit my laptop comfortably. I love it even more now that I have it! The straps are so well enforced that I feel I can carry around boulders. And it doesn't hurt my shoulder to carry lots of weight. Plus, I didn't realize it had feet on the bottom which I really appreciate. The bag does not look cheap at all. It does not scream faux, instead it screams luxury! I have gotten so many compliments on this purse and so many of my friends ask where I got it. A few people have asked me what designer it was, assuming it was a high brand name. Nope, I only spent $40 to get this look.

The only negative that I can find about this purse is that the zipper to the interior doesn't extend all the way to the ends, it stops short say about an inch on either side, so if it is raining Im alway worried that the rain will get in my purse and on my belongings. For such a cheap price, I'm okay with that.

Strangely enough, this morning on my way to work I saw someone with this same bag! I was about to compliment them on their Shoedazzle purchase when I realized that they must have the real version. It had the Hermes style flaps in the front in black with a lock detail. But the color, the straps, and even the buckles on the side were all the same. I wonder how much she paid to get the same look...

dolman shirt: Old Navy
jean leggings: Gap
shoes: Shoedazzle
zip bangle: Jewelmint

Don't know what Shoedazzle is? Shoedazzle is a monthly shoe club. They also sell purses and jewelry. Everything is just $39.95. As of 3/29 Shoedazzle no longer charges you every month. No need to remember to skip the month, just pay when you purchase! Before the new month's shoes come out, Shoedazzle will ask you what you are looking for (sky-high heels, boots, open-toe, casual, fancy, etc). On the 1st of the month you can visit your showroom and see what they've prepared for you. If you don't like anything you can request a new selection or browse your friends showroom. What's even more exciting is that every 10 items you buy, you get a free credit to purchase whatever you want!
Interested in signing up? Click here to take your style quiz and view your showroom!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sindulge: March 2012

At the end of February I found out about another subscription service, this one is different from the others because each month you have a live consultation with a beauty expert to talk about exactly what your beauty concerns are and what you would like. They had a deal where your first month was a penny so I jumped on board. The promo is still active so you too can try Sindulge for a penny by using promo code JKFF.

Don't know what Sindulge is?
Sindulge is a once a month beauty subscription service that delivers a cute box of beauty samples to your doorstep. Each month you will receive samples based on a personal consultation with one of their team beauty experts. The consultation's are 15 minutes long and can be done via video or text chat. Let the expert know what your concerns are and what new products you want to try. You can even ask the experts questions or ask for tips. The experts will do their best to fulfill your needs. Plus, there is a beauty profile on file to help the experts out. Sindulge costs $12 a month, and your box will always be valued way above!
Click here to join Sindulge.

March 2012, First Box!
I had my beauty consultation on 2/29 with Ami. It was a little confusing trying to figure out where I go on the website for the consultation, but since then they have made it more clear. I had a giant list of concerns that I wanted to chat about, so I wrote them down like a nerd so that I wouldn't forget anything. I let Ami know that I have very sensitive skin and some very red spots that nothing seems to work on. She said that she would include a good moisturizer/primer that will help reduce the redness and then maybe think about cosmetics to help even out my complexion. I also let her know that nothing I do ever gets my pores on my nose clean. She said she would include a product that does just that.

Although I had a smooth chat, I know many others did not. Some people's consultation got cancelled without reason, others had to reschedule and never got responses back, and others had no time to do the consultation so just emailed back and forth with their expert. I personally don't mind the consultations because in the future months I'll be able to let them know what products worked or not. And even though Im all about redness this month, maybe next month I want to try new mascaras. I love the idea of the personalization.

We were told that the boxes would ship out 10 days after our consultation, but alas that is not what happened. They kept getting delayed further and further without any notice. I wasn't worried, I figure it is their first month and it takes some time to get a groove going. But because so many people were upset, all current subscribers will receive April's box for free! That is so good customer service! Own up to mistakes made and I will stay by your side. So let's see how Ami did!

I love how the 'boxes' are so unique! They fold flat if you think you want to re-use it later. Plus, they aren't so thick that I will feel guilty tossing this in the recycling.

Information Card:

Before I begin my product review I had to say Im disappointed that they don't have a card letting you know what products they picked or why they picked them. And what is even more weird is that none of my products are available to buy on their website. Granted, it seems like their search and their shop is an absolute mess. I searched for the brand "Ferro" and got 4 pages of nail polishes and eyeshadows... The website in general is really messy, confusing, and not intuitive. For product descriptions, I will be using what is on the company's website.


LA Fresh: Waterproof Makeup Remover
Bye-bye waterproof color and all those other greasy makeup removers. Hello sparkling clean eyes & lips in an instant.
Full size: 24 count ($9.99)
Size Received: Full-size! 24 count($9.99)
Sweet!! I don't mind having these around. And since I received a full-size product I don't feel guilty using them at home. The company seems pretty awesome and they are stamped cruelty-free and all natural ingredients. The website states that the wipes are alcohol free, non-greasy, and will clean off even the most resistant makeup. I decided to try one tonight. At first I though they had dried out, but I could feel that there was oils on the cloth. I tried it out and sure enough my face is a clean slate. I do think they are a bit greasy, but that is because the only ingredients are a blend of 6 natural oils (olive, jojoba, sesame, grape seed, vitamin E, and lavender oil). Although my skin feels a little greasy, I dont think it will cause my skin to breakout. It is perfect hydration for overnight.

Youngblood: Mineral Primer
Infused with pure essential oils and vitamins to protect and hydrate skin. Use after cleansing to lock in moisture and after makeup application to set foundation.
Full size: 4oz ($41.00)
Size Received: .17oz($1.74)
So Ami had mentioned a primer, so here we go. It doesn't seem to have anything to do with evening skin tone though. But it is from a vegan and cruelty-free company, so I'll gladly take a sample. Im not sure how I feel about the primer being filled with oils. My skin is so sensitive that it may cause me to breakout. I tested it out on my hand and it is gel like and rubs on very soft, almost like a silicon-based primer (you know what I mean if you've tried them). My hands sort of felt a little oily afterwards, but who knows. I do have dry spots even though it is so humid where I live so maybe this would work to keep my moisturizer locked in all day long. We shall see.

Pixi: Endless Silky Eye Pen in No. 1 Black Noir
Long wearing, non-transfer, and waterproof eye pen gives the intense effect of a liquid liner but is much easier to apply.
Full size: .04oz ($14.00)
Size Received: .03oz($10.50)
Another clearly labeled cruelty-free company! I'm liking this trend. I had talked with Ami about never using liquid liner and being scared to even try it. But we had talked about brown to complement my fair skin. Alas, I got half of what I was told. I was a bit confused that the product is called a pen when it is clearly a soft pencil. But it sure is silky and glides on easily. It is intensely pigmented, although Im not sure it is quite equal to liquid liner. But application was easy, smooth, and solid. Only time will tell if it is smudge proof and waterproof as advertised.
eta: Used it today and it lasted all day! I watched a tearjerking Desperate Housewives episode and although  it did smudge a bit, you could barely tell.

Youngblood: Hi-Definition Hydrating Mineral Perfecting Powder in Translucent
Whether skin's under the HD spotlight or regular daylight, help it look flawlessly airbrushed and naturally radiant with this sheer finishing powder!
Full size: .35oz ($40.00)
Size Received: .02oz ($2.29)
I've been curious about Hi-Def finishing powders for a few months. Lately, even with my MAC Fix + Finishing Spray my make-up looks a little cakey or just blah. Hi-Def powders are meant to set your makeup, diffuse imperfections, and mattify. What I also found out while researching the product is that it has both licorice root and menthol that will help calm and conceal redness! Ami sure is listening!! I love it! Although I love my MAC Fix+, the humidity means my skin is back to shine crazy in a few hours. This hopefully will keep my makeup matte and looking flawless! Im glad they sent me the translucent color (they also have a warm glow) I want a finishing powder that does not interfere with my just finished makeup. And from a teeny swatch on my hand over the eyeliner it does not interfere with the color at all. I'm really excited about this!
eta: I used this product today. It was a crazy, humid day, but not once did I have to blot my face for shine. Even though I felt like my face was going to melt off, it stayed put, and was shine free! I think we have a winner!

Verabella: Bella Rosa Calming Skin Crème
This Calming Skin Crème will calms irritated skin, reduce redness and restore elasticity to create a youthful, radiant complexion.
Full size: 1.7oz ($88.00)
Size Received: .2oz ($10.35)
Apparently Verabella is a popular Beverly Hills spa that only recently is selling their products to the general product. This company also prides themselves on using all natural and botanical-rich ingredients. The creme has Organic Damask Rose Oil that helps to reduce redness and soothe irritated skin. It is also beneficial for sun-damaged or aging skin. Plus, it also has jojoba oil that is rich in nourishing proteins to increase firmness and elasticity and reduce lines. Plus, aloe-vera, vitamin A, and E. Every single line of the website description seems to fit my needs. From all my boxes this month I have a lot of options and hopefuls to reduce my redness. If I can get rid of redness and reduce fine lines, I'll take it!
eta: It seems like this bad boy is working. It is a really light cream and has not caused me to break out and has removed almost all of my redness!

Ferro Cosmetics: Matte Mineral Veil in Amber
For dark or tanned skin tones. Mattifying mineral and clay mineral powder that's tinted for a shine free finish over makeup or used alone.
Full size: .14oz ($16.95)
Size Received: .02oz? ($2.42)
Ferro Cosmetics is a mineral makeup line that is 100% natural, cruelty-free, vegan, and made in the USA. This is another finishing powder that absorbs oil, sets makeup, and mattifies. Unfortunately for me this product is meant for darker skin tones... I have NC20 skin, Im fairer than fair. How did I end up with this product? I thought maybe I could use it for a warm glow, but it is just too dark for my skin. The finish is just no good on my skin either. Every flaw or hyperpigmented spot on my face was intensified. I'm for sure going to let them know that it's sort of ridiculous that I ended up with this product when my beauty profile clearly states I have light skin and I even told Ami my exact skin tone. But this is the only let down, so I'll survive.

Total Value of my March 2012 Sindulge box: $37.29
Not bad for something that cost me a penny! Plus, next month is free for me! I think Sindulge has a lot of feedback to take in and hopefully they will improve. For me to stay a member I would need to see: better customer relations, my entire box based off of my profile and preferences, and more intuitive website. What I do like is that all the brands they featured are well-known and reputable. Plus, it doesn't hurt that they are all cruelty-free and vegan friendly!

What did you think of my first Sindulge box? How does it compare to yours? Did your consultant listen to your concerns? Let me know in the comments below!
If you don't get Sindulge, click here to join!

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