2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,800 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Viva Las Vegas!

Just a quick hi! I am in Las Vegas aka Sin City. I actually find it a place to relax and have fun, with the bonus of a city on the side. I love how it is surrounded by mountains. It’s just fabulous.

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I’m posting this from my phone, so bear with me. We are about to head to dinner and I wanted to do up my eyes. I used Too Faced Shadow Insurance, then applied gold shadow from a cool palette a dear friend bought me at Century 21- a NYC bargain store with designer goods. I then applied Coastal Scents’ Eyeshadow Pencil in Copper Penny- just the penny side- along the top and bottom lashes. I threw a little purple eyeshadow in the crease and a generous dose of They’re Real! Mascara by Benefit.

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A swipe of Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in Fig (thanks to Stacey Catapano of Brooklyn Make-Up Studio for giving me the heads up on that one!) and I’m done. Oh, I evened out my face with Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturier in Nude. That’s it! Here is the final look. Pardon the light!

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Keep Calm and Primp On! XOXO

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December GlossyBox… Eh.

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I like getting this mail.

When I saw my GlossyBox package in my foyer, I, of course, was very excited. Every month is like my birthday or Christmas. Last month, I scored two boxes,which was great. For December, I paid less than $13 for my box. Here is what I got:

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Using every bit of will power I have not to rip open the package.

My “present” was wrapped in very festive paper, with the usual note from GlossyBox.

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Read? Read now?!

I got the usual magazine, which I have yet to read, and the list of products in the box. I always try not to even look at this before I dig in…

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The box and most of its contents.

As you can see, the box has some pretty nice products but they are nowhere as good as some of the things I have received over the past three months. Let me give you the rundown…

1) There was an overwhelming scent coming from the box. It came from the White Tea Epsom Salts by Heartland Fragrance. I received a cool loofah soap from Heartland in a previous box. I like the soap a lot. The problem is… I don’t soak my feet. I have no patience. My husband soaks his but he isn’t using tea scented epsom salts. The package also states you can massage a handful into your skin to exfoliate. That is way too much work. I hope I find someone that will use these. ($10 for 30 oz.-my baggie is 5.5 oz.)

2) I continued to peruse my goodies and came across Forest Essentials Luxurious Ayurveda Bath & Shower Oil in Madurai Jasmine and Mogra. Apply after a bath or shower for “seductive” scented skin and to seal in moisture. I have used Neutrogena‘s post shower oil and I loved it. I will definitely give this a whirl. ($22/ 6.8 oz- my bottle is 3.38 oz.)

3) Continuing on the perfume route, I also found a small sample of Pleats Please by Issey Miyake. I remember when Miyake’s perfume, L’Eau d’Issey, made waves in the fragrance world. I find Pleats Please along a similar line but not in a good way. It is across between air freshener and the Designer Imposters you find in 7-11. I probably won’t be using it. ($92/ 3.4 oz.- that is way too much money to smell cheap.)

4) I use Argan oil every other day on my hair to help with frizz. It does an excellent job. I will try ECRU New York Cosmetic Hair Care Acacia Protein Oil. It pretty much claims to do the same thing but might be a little more pricey. ($30/ 1.7 oz.- I think I may have enough in the sample to use it twice.)

5) I never use a lot of styling products. I’m actually pretty faithful to some brands. I can’t live without my gel from Quidad (Climate Control!) and I switch a few different hair creams. This month, I found Oscar Blandi Pronto Dry Styling Heat Protect Spray in my box. I never use heat stylers on my curly hair for two reasons 1) As soon as a drop of moisture hits my head, the curls spring back and 2) I am too lazy. Though this sounds excellent in theory, I think it will be going to my mom or sister, as they heat style fairly frequently.

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The (almost) fabulous five.

The final two products are for my fingers.

6) I am not a fan of Zoya. Yes, I said it. Every polish I tried was way too thick and chipped fast. The full size bottle in Storm, a black base with multi-colored glitter, will look very sparkly. I will give Zoya another chance, as this is the only product I’m really excited about.

7) This final “product” was a sweet surprise. GlossyBox teamed up with JewelMint.com and sent GlossyBox subscribers a little extra- a piece of jewelry! Looking at other blogger reviews, they sent out a few different things. One blogger got a long necklace and I got… two very small rings. And when I mean small, I mean in size. I love the style and I am so annoyed that they don’t even fit my pinky. Not even close on my “sausage” fingers. Valued at $30, these would have been great to have this time of year. My mom or sister get another stocking stuffer!

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Pretty polish and petite rings.

I will be taking a bit of a hiatus this week… as Christmas is TOMORROW!  So Merry, Merry! I hope to catch you before the New Year. If not…

Keep Calm, Primp On, and have a Happy, Healthy, New Year!

It’s a Christmas Tag!

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I picked up this ornament in Hobby Lobby when I was visiting my grandparents in Florida. My grandmother still believes in Santa and she always says that she believes.

Lindz, The Girl in the Glasses, tagged me in a Christmas tag. Lindz writes some great material and since she is an American living in Europe, she gives her readers a great perspective of life and beauty on the other side of the Atlantic. Read her blog http://www.girlintheglasses.com

I love Christmas and was waiting to see if there was a Christmas tag making its way around. To make it easy, I tag all of you! If you’re interested, fill it out!

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These were chocolate covered cherries I received as a gift last year. I didn’t want to eat them but I did!

Which holiday do you celebrate? We celebrate Christmas but my husband is also half Jewish, and though we are not religious in any way, shape, or form, I try to buy him a few little Hanukkah gifts. He got me a Hanukkah gift this year- earmuffs with built in headphones, which will be most wonderful as I walk to work.

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We have Rhinestone Week at work every year.. This pin was on a friend’s bridesmaid dress. The dress was pretty awful and when she was cleaning out her closet to make donations, my sister swiped the pin for me because of Rhinstone Week. I took this picture on Wednesday and sent it to my friend and sister. They were both in hysterics.

What are you doing for the holidays this year? We are going to Upstate New York to see my hub’s wonderful side of the family the Sunday before Christmas and will come home at some point Christmas Eve. I love that they are also my family now! Christmas day, we are having breakfast at my mom’s and then heading over to my mom-in-law’s for dinner. Then we fly to Vegas that evening!

What’s your favorite holiday drink? I enjoy hot chocolate this time of year. I find I don’t really drink it at any other point, except when I add a teaspoon or two to my espresso.

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That is actually a mix of coffee and hot chocolate. Those are gingerbread men marshmallows.

Candy cane or gingerbread men? I love candy canes. As a kid, I would make hot peppermint milk- still do! Sometimes, I stick one in my hot chocolate. This year, I actually didn’t buy candy canes. I never end up eating all of them, so I bought pretty glass candy canes to put on my tree.

Peppermint candy cane on my scanner

Peppermint candy cane on my scanner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What’s your favorite holiday / Christmas song? Anything sung by Andy Williams. I think I am partial to “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

What’s the weirdest gift you’ve ever received? Last year, I received a wine clock. It is a little clock in a plastic bottle of wine that sits in a golden chariot. I still have no words.

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I still don’t know what to think of this.

Have you ever made a snowman? Yes- though they were never Frosty worthy. I’m a Brooklyn kid, we work with what we got!

What is your favorite winter fragrance? Where do I begin? Winter is my favorite time for fragrance because you can do spicy fragrances that are a little heavier: Prada Amber, Prada Candy, Elie Saab, Thierry Mugler Angel with Alien or alone, and I am sure there are more, but I can’ t think of them all! For the home, I love any kind of balsam candle.

What is at the top of your Christmas list? I’m not picky. My hubs and family know what I like- anything make-up, pocketbook related- and the hubs is good at getting me jewelry.

My brother-in-law surprised me with the Honey Badger this past summer. The Honey Badger was going on my list!

My brother-in-law surprised me with the Honey Badger this past summer. The Honey Badger was going on my list!

What is most important to you about the holidays? Spending time with my family is very important. I love Christmas morning when it is just the hubs and I. We open gifts, make breakfast, and just hang.

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This is our tree. That is a mini-sombrero on top. I like to keep things spicy.

Please feel free to tag yourself and enjoy the holiday festivities!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

One, Two, Three Times a Liebster…

Let me start by saying I think this is my third Liebster nod. Sarah-Jane over at  “Make-Up by Sarah Jane” and “140 Days of a New Me” (which is evolving!) nominated me for another Liebster Award. Read her blogs- she has two! http://140daysofanewme.wordpress.com/ AND http://makeupbysarahjane.wordpress.com/

Lub my Liebster!

Lub my Liebster!

Sarah- Jane sent me a few questions in Liebster fashion and so I will answer them and then nominate 12 bloggers that I enjoy reading. Typically, you can only nominate blogs with less than 200 readers, though I’m not quite sure how to find out how many readers a blog has. I love this because I have found so many great blogs from checking out other Liebster recipients. And away we go!

1. Who is your fashion icon?

I really have no fashion icon, I swear. Not that I wear anything particularly fantastic but I am good with colors and combining my pieces to create new looks. I find that something unexpected, a fun necklace with something a little conservative, always makes a statement. I love anyone that looks effortless, too.

2. What is/was your favorite trend of 2012?

I love all the crazy, glittery nails. Love them. I’ve started doing my own more because I get so many great ideas from my fellow bloggers.

3. What is your favorite magazine/fashion magazine and why?

I happen to like “Marie Clare” because they always have some material that is socially aware. I will say that I am generally disappointed in magazines as of late because I find the writing to be too simplistic and shallow. I know that sounds conceited, I write a product blog for crying out loud! I just think that magazines are just missing something.

4. Currently, what artist or song can you not get enough of?

Good question- a few weeks ago it was “Titanium” by David Guetta and Sia. Right now, I am listening to Gotye‘s “Somebody that I Used to Know” but not for him. I like Kimbra‘s voice- she sings on the track.

5. Who or what is the biggest inspiration in your life?

I can’t pinpoint any one person. I really find inspiration in everything. For example, the other night I was making tomato sauce and started to think about my nonna, my great-grandmother that passed away almost 17 years ago. I wrote a two page essay about her and for no real reason. I like those moments!

6. What is your favorite beauty product?

So you are going to make me choose, huh? I love Caudalie’s Beaute Elixir. It is just so refreshing and my nightly routine is just not the same without it. I’m on my third bottle- I finally got the bigger spray.

Caudalie Catch! Plus the adorable tote bag I got as a gift with purchase.

Caudalie Haul that started the addiction!

7. What is your “go-to” fragrance?

I switch my fragrance up everyday BUT I always have Stella by Stella McCartney on hand. I love the scent of roses and Stella does it perfectly.

8. Why did you start blogging?

I really started blogging because I think a lot of people are misled by reviews. Magazines get free products and get paid for ads. Of course they love a $50 lipstick (Tom Ford) because they didn’t pay for it and are probably getting paid to write about it. I will tell you if I think a product is worth it and since I am just like you, chances are you will appreciate my honesty.

Clockwise from top: an examination of the lip scrub, me applying, me trying to not eat it, me puckering up with it all over my face

Me testing products so you don’t have to! Obviously, I didn’t like this lip stuff. The mask is great, though!

9. Do you have a favorite celebrity blog or blogger that you admire?

I find most of the bloggers I follow on WordPress do a great job. I love how it’s like a family! I also like Veritasty: Truthfully Delicious, written by a former student of mine with photos by a wonderful young man!

10. What is your favorite fashion “item” (clothes, shoes, jewelry, handbag, other accessory) that you own?

I love my MZ Wallace bag- I need a new one for the spring! Christmas is coming…

11. What are you going to wear on New Year’s Eve?

Pajamas- sitting on my couch with my hubby and some bubbly!

And the nominees are:

1) http://www.veritasty.blogspot.com/

2) http://loveyourlipgloss.com/

3) http://bellyrubz.wordpress.com/

4) http://alkemebeauty.wordpress.com/

5) http://pregoandtheloon.wordpress.com/ (This blog is so important!)

6) http://propersweetie.wordpress.com/ (At 216 followers but I can cheat.)

7) http://poutineandprada.wordpress.com/

8) http://loveanela.wordpress.com/

9) http://thevoguedisciple.wordpress.com/

10)http://poundlandprincess.wordpress.com/

11)http://girlintheglasses.com/

12) http://materialdetox.wordpress.com/

To my nominees: answer the above questions!

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Forever Red Exclusively at Bath & Body Works

A few weeks ago, I went into Bath and Body Works to do some Christmas shopping. A bright, red bottle with a pretty cap caught my eye. It was Forever Red, Bath and Body Works’ latest scent in the Signature Collection. I have worn body fragrances by them for years and was excited to see a new perfume. I went over to get a sniff. I was almost knocked over by sweetness and put it right back down. I wasn’t going to buy it. It was way too cloying and just not a “me” smell.

Imagine my surprise when I received my complimentary@ Influenster Cosmo VoxBox a few weeks ago and there was an adorably small spray bottle of Forever Red. I figured that maybe I didn’t give Forever Red the chance it deserved. I decided to wear it the next day to work.

Love at second sniff? We'll see...

Love at second sniff? We’ll see…

When I opened the bottle, I definitely smelled the sweet apple and peach. This makes scents (ha!) since the top notes are indeed “Fiery Pomegranate, Rare French Peach, and Luminous Apple.” It seems to me that everyone puts pomegranate in anything now. I can tell you I actually don’t think pomegranate has a very distinct scent but who am I to say?

The first spritz was slightly overwhelming but not as much as I thought it could be. I was looking forward to the dry down because the mid notes described as Red Peony, Night Marigold, and Red Osmanthus sound pretty and the dry notes are Rich Vanilla Rum, Velvety Marshmallow, and Oak Wood. I like oaky, warm smells, so I was hoping once the extreme sweet passed, I would get what I love.

My mini Forever Red. Thanks, Influenster!

My mini Forever Red. Thanks, Influenster!

Unfortunately, this would not come to pass. By the time I got to work at 8 AM,the scent had faded… A LOT. By the time I got home, I could barely catch any trace of Forever Red. If I sniffed really hard (easy to imagine with my schnoz) I could catch a bit of vanilla and warm oak. I still have most of the .25 fl oz bottle left and I will throw it in my bag if I need a fragrant touch up. Luckily, Bath and Body Works makes many wonderful fragrances, my favorite being Moonlight Path, a delicious musk.

So Forever Red, you don’t last that long but it’s okay. I’ll give you another chance.

Special thanks to @Influenster for sending me my (first) Cosmo VoxBox and introducing me to Forever Red at no cost.

For more information on Forever Red or other products by Bath and Body Works, visit http://www.bathandbodyworks.com

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

If your Legs are Looking like Caterpillars Get a Gillette Venus Embrace Razor!

Courtesy of @Influenster, I received a Venus Embrace handle and blade and one Venus and Olay blade refill. The razor has FIVE blades- FIVE! and is for some serious hair removal.

The Razor! (Photo from Drugstore.com)

The Razor! (Photo from Drugstore.com)

I took this razor in the shower and got to work. I hate shaving and New York winters can be cold. I don’t wear dresses or skirts in this weather, so the legs get a little neglected. I decided that since they would not turn into butterflies, I should just shave. I lathered up with EOS Shave Cream. I’m not a particular fan. In fact, I find it to be thin and the pump stinks, but I found it in the bathroom and I just finished the can of my preferred Skintimate.

The Embrace made a usually tedious task not so terrible. I was done shaving really fast. The razor cut through the hair and NOT my skin. Once I got out of the shower, my legs were smooth and soft. I have to say that this will probably replace what I usually use, Venus disposables, once I am finished with them.

Another cool thing about the Venus Embrace is that the razor heads are interchangeable. You can switch up the razor to your liking. In fact, I also got a Venus and Olay blade refill that I can use on the handle. The regular blade has a moisture band and the Olay blade has extra moisture surrounding the razor. Both are excellent, I just find I don’t need the extra boost of moisture that the Olay offers. I might use that in the summer and forgo extra lotion!

I will spare you a before and after of my legs.

I will spare you a before and after of my legs.

Thanks to @Influenster for sending me Gillette’s Venus Embrace for free!

Visit http://www.gillettevenus.com/en_US/index.jsp for more information about Gillette Venus products.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

Beautiful Blogger Award!

Yesterday Was Dramatic Today Is Okay nominated me for the Beautiful Blogger Award. She writes about life’s musings and her blog is a good reminder that we have to keep on truckin’. Check her out! http://yesterdaywasdramatictodayisokay.wordpress.com/

The Beauty Blogger Award has the following rules:

-Link back to the person who nominated you. (CHECK)

-Post the award to your page. (BINGO!)

-Tell SEVEN facts about yourself. (I’ll try to be amusing.)

-Nominate seven bloggers and let them know they have been nominated.

Seven Random Facts About Me:

1) If you didn’t know, I am obsessed with my skin. If there is a pimple, blackhead, errant hair, it needs to be gone. I am a master extractor- I know you shouldn’t touch, but I do. And I will attack my husband, sister, mother, or best friend if there is something poppable!

2) I love coffee. I make something called a “Jessie Special” with espresso, hot chocolate, and steamed milk. It is kind of like a mocha but not as sweet- it is better!

3) I enjoy cooking but when I do, stay out of my way.

4) I know I’ve mentioned OCD but I also suffer from anxiety and depression. It’s very strange because I generally am a happy person. I’ve learned to manage it and work through when I have an episode but I sometimes get frustrated and cry. Fun times.

5) I pushed my sister into a bush once when we were walking to the bank. I was 23. She was 20. She still talks about it. Some people never forget.

6) I move fast for a fat girl. Yes, I said it.

7) I’m a terrible multi-tasker. I can only do one thing at a time.

And that’s the story of the day… and so I nominate….

http://fashionforlunch.wordpress.com/about/

http://polisherself.wordpress.com/2012/09/

http://propersweetie.wordpress.com/

http://pandaeyesbeautyblog.wordpress.com/

http://makeupbysarahjane.wordpress.com/about/

http://poutineandprada.wordpress.com/

http://newstylemakeover.wordpress.com/

Just a Quick (Dry) Hi!

Just popping in to say “hello.” I’ve been running around like crazy. Dictor’s appointment for a weird pain behind my ear- tension headaches and that’s no surprise, got zapped (laser hair removal), and of course, Christmas shopping, a Starbucks stop, and home. In my travels, I picked up some nail polish. It is my latest obsession. First up, Essie’s Penny Talk. I’ve been coveting this for a few weeks and I’m glad I got it. It is a pretty copper and more like a shiny, new penny than one that’s been dropped in the street too many times. I actually might pair this with a gray glitter. What the heck?
I love me some Color Club and bought the gritty Ms. Hautie. It’s slate with purple shimmer undertones. Yippee!
Next, two China Glaze polishes. China Glaze makes a consistent polish and the holiday colors and glitters are pretty fabulous. I picked up Pizzazz- a multi-colored glitter polish and Glistening Snow. It actually looks like fresh snow that shimmers in moonlight well before it turns yellow. Ahem.
And finally, I discovered Out the Door’s Northern Lights Hologram Topcoat. It dries in 45 seconds- we will see.

What do you think of my picks?

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ipsy Under My Tree!

Guess what's in the bag!

Guess what’s in the bag!

I got my December ipsy bag yesterday and woohoo! it is great! ipsy is probably the best value for beauty subscriptions, as there are full size products at different values. I like getting higher end products mixed with ones I can get at my local drug store. December’s box bridges the two well and I received “an exclusive preview.” As always, the cosmetics come in a really cute bag that I can use over and over or re-gift and someone can use it over and over.

To begin with there is a Mirabella Prime for Face and Eyes. I’ve never had the pleasure of using Mirabella, except the time I bought eyeshadow sticks on a fashion discount website with a great reputation. When I opened the eyeshadows, they looked old. Luckily, I called the discount site’s customer service and got a refund. Moving along… This primer is $29 and though I like primers, I like a lot of people, have issues with stuff all over my face. Drives me nuts. I will try this when going out for a night when I need to look fresh.

Speaking of eyes… this package has an NYX Loose Eyeshadow. You can see the color below. I am not usually a fan of loose pigments. I make a mess and prefer to look more like myself than a Picasso. I might try dusting this on my collar bones (or whatever I can see beneath my uh thick neck). I now have another Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero. I never really got into these eye pencils. I find them to be too soft but black is always good to have and since I am always looking for mine, this is going straight into my daily make-up bag.

Top: NYX Loose Pearl Shadow Ultra Pearl Mania in 02 Pearl & UD 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero.Bottom: Mirabella Prime for Face & Eyes.

Top: NYX Loose Pearl Shadow Ultra Pearl Mania in 02 Pearl & UD 24/7 Eye Pencil in Zero.
Bottom: Mirabella Prime for Face & Eyes.

Now for the random picture. Well, it isn’t so random but it tells me what is in my bag and the discounts I will get this month if I purchase these items through ipsy.

Christmas Balls.

Christmas Balls.

I wish ipsy offered discounts on these products a month or two after I have received them. If I run out after a month or two, I can then get the product. But I’m not in charge. SIgh.

Now for my favorite part of the box. This of course includes a lip product of some kind. I am partial to any kind of lip stuff and I was excited to see what I got this month!

Last but not least I got Mai Couture Highlighter Papers in St. Barts. I’ve used their paper foundation and blush. I must say that are so travel friendly- nothing can leak! These highlighters will be great for the glitz and glam I will just have to endure in Las Vegas. I will also be happy to pack my preview sample of Urban Decay’s BB Cream but I’m sure I will have to try it before then. I have the worst trouble with BB creams and I am hoping that this one might be different, as it is oil free and has “Optical Blurring.” Finally, the lip gloss to end all lip glosses… Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss in Hot Mess. Yes, you read correctly. My favorite two words in the English language on my most cherished piece of make-up. Don’t try to ruin my moment.

I am sure I will have some more interesting posts this week, including one about shaving my legs. I know you will want to read all about that.

Keep Calm & Primp On! XOXO

My exclusive preview tube of UD's BB Cream which YOU can't get yet, Mai Couture Highlighter Paper in St. Barts, and Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss with the best lip gloss name EVER.

My exclusive preview tube of UD’s BB Cream which YOU can’t get yet, Mai Couture Highlighter Paper in St. Barts, and Be a Bombshell Lip Gloss with the best lip gloss name EVER.